In The Spotlight
THERE ARE TREMENDOUS REWARDS THAT COME WITH OWNING RENTAL PROPERTY ON HILTON HEAD ISLAND.
You’re able to enjoy your own piece of paradise: a place to relax, rejuvenate and reconnect with family and friends. As an island property owner, you can take advantage of beach parks built just for you and enjoy discounts on golf, retail and restaurants. Your property can be a place to create long lasting memories for years to come, and it could become your future retirement home.
Americans are a mobile people. Families are far-flung, turning “over the hills and through the woods to grandmother’s house we go” into “let’s use our frequent flyer miles.”
We are no longer tied to the family homestead. We can live anywhere we want, and we do. Most of us limit that wanderlust to our countries of birth, but not always. (Just listen to the accents at the Pineland Station Starbucks.)
A STAR IS BORN
For many actors, the road to the stage is long and winding, with twists and frustrations and pitfalls at every turn. It’s a struggle you see time and again when you read about how Broadway stars slaved away waiting tables and doing bit parts in commercials for years waiting for their big break. Most of the time, raw talent is never enough.
Harrison Leahy, however, proves that sometimes it is.
I am honored to present this annual community update for Hilton Head Monthly Magazine on behalf of our Town Council, which is comprised of unique individuals who have been working very hard representing a talented diversity of Islanders.
Last December, Town Council came together along with town staff at a planning workshop that extended beyond its original schedule because of the magnitude of issues and opportunities faced by the Hilton Head Island community. During this workshop, Town Council developed the following top priorities:
Hilton Head Island Magazine and News
Forbes Magazine recently published an article titled "How to Spend Two Perfect Days on Hilton Head." Writer DeMarco Williams described his two days on the island and gave glowing reviews of several local attractions and businesses. He described family-friendly musician Gregg Russell as the "luckiest man on earth" for getting to spend nearly every summer night performing under the large Liberty Oak in Harbour Town.
Each year, the Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival & Concours d’Elegance features leading automotive collectors from around the world. Among the notable names visitors and enthusiasts will encounter at the 2015 event are Fred Guyton and William “Tom” Gerrard, selected respectively as this year’s Pinnacle and Honored Collectors.
Popular travel site Trip Advisor recently ranked Hilton Head Island among its "10 East Coast Beaches Making a Splash." According to the site, "If paradise was ever lost, it’s been found in Hilton Head. Perfect for either a family getaway or romantic retreat, the boot-shaped island on South Carolina’s coast offers a laid-back yet swanky experience.
A visit to Daufuskie Island can feel a bit like being transported back to a time before bridges and causeways opened the Lowcountry's Sea Islands to both development and the outside world. Despite the presence of a luxurious resort and four gorgeous golf courses, the largely undeveloped residential island maintains a blissfully rustic and intoxicatingly timeless feel that attracts as many as 150,000 visitors each year.
In my opinion, PR people have never done right by Bluffton. Bluffton needs to do what my mother once admonished me to do after I had quit a pretty good job on Hilton Head to do something that I thought more important. I was explaining that to a puzzled acquaintance while my mother was with me, and with a stage whisper that could be heard from the lighthouse to ships at sea, she coached me, “Tell him who you used to be!”
That’s kind of how I feel about Bluffton. Do you, the passing average reader on the street, even know who Bluffton used to be?
It’s a great time to live, work, play and love Bluffton. As a town, we know who we are and where we are going. Bluffton has recently been recognized as a municipal leader in areas such as financial management, economic development and revitalization. National and regional media outlets, such as Money Magazine, continue to bestow titles on our town as one of the best places to retire and live. Garden & Gun Magazine recently named Bluffton “A Southern Dream Town.” As a municipal leader, I am proud of our town and the people who work so diligently to create a place which many want to be a part.
Even before Bluffton Police Chief Joey Reynolds, 57, was appointed to his position after 35 years in law enforcement, he and his wife wanted to move to the Lowcountry after falling in love with Bluffton after vacationing here.
The South Carolina native inherited a full-time staff of 33 officers in September 2012 when he took office; the police department now totals 49 with a support staff of five. The department’s $6.2 million budget and increased force numbers reflect Bluffton’s growth to a town of more than 13,600 residents.
Shawn Leininger knows he’s a Lowcountry cliché, the Ohio native and Ohio State Buckeyes alum drawn south by the siren call of the May River. Bluffton’s director of growth development once admired the town’s expansion from afar while forging his own real-life “SimCity” efforts up north.
Leininger made the move to Bluffton in 2011 and has spent the past four years using that admiration as a base for putting his own mark on the area’s growth plan. How does he think it’s working out so far?
Marc Orlando has been at the forefront of a decade of enormous change in Bluffton. He joined the town as a planning director in 2004, moving into positions as director of growth management and deputy town manager before taking over for retiring town manager Anthony Barrett in September 2014.
We let the 44-year-old town leader reflect on a decade of growth and what’s ahead as the once “sleepy little hamlet” evolves into a metropolis.
Boasting a beautiful waterfront deck, a menu packed with flavorful Lowcountry favorites, regular live entertainment and a lively island atmosphere, the Salty Dog Cafe is one of Hilton Head Island's most popular dining spots. It's not just the location, menu and great atmosphere that keep patrons coming back again and again — the restaurant's colorful T-shirts have proved immensely popular throughout the years.
The T-shirts started out as a uniform of sorts for Salty Dog staff members, but it wasn't long before customers began asking where they could purchase their own Salty Dog shirts. In response to the high demand, the owners of the Salty Dog Cafe opened the Salty Dog T-Shirt Factory, where they lovingly silkscreen the shirts for eager customers.
‘Call Mr. Gray’
Once, around midnight, Richard Gray answered an urgent call from a man needing a car clutch. Gray ran a gas station and auto parts store in Beaufort, and the caller had bought a clutch—the wrong one—from Gray’s competitor.
The man who sold it to him wouldn’t help at midnight. But Gray would.
“I had the reputation of, ‘Call Mr. Gray, and he’ll get it for you,’” says the namesake of Grayco Hardware & Home. “It was service, just giving people what they wanted.”
AN ISLAND LANDMARK CELEBRATES SIX DECADES WITH A CAN’T-MISS BLOWOUT
The past 60 years have seen, to put it mildly, incredible change on Hilton Head Island. And Coligny has been there through all of it. Starting as a single corner market, Forest Beach Market, Coligny’s story begins on an island with just a single-lane dirt road and no bridge. Just six short decades later and that little market has kept pace with the island’s growth to serve as downtown to a bustling resort paradise.
Lowcountry home design has evolved much like the history of the South Carolina coast itself in population growth, economic forces, cuisine and culture. Naturally, adaptations to original home designs had to be made — and they were.
Its infancy began when the first permanent settlement in South Carolina took root in 1670 along the Ashley and Cooper rivers near present-day Charleston. The English transplanted their basic one-room cottage design from coastal tidewater Virginia and Maryland locations, and that marked the beginning of Lowcountry home design.
According to the National Association of Realtors, the median sales price of homes is at an all-time high because of a number of factors.
The group’s chief economist, Lawrence Yun, said that can be viewed as both good and not-so-good news. On one hand, current homeowners looking to sell their homes can get more for their property, gaining equity for the down payment on their next homes. On the other hand, rising home prices make it more difficult for first-time, younger buyers to enter the market, as they don’t have equity from a previous home — and often are struggling to save as it is.
Todd Hawk and his family-owned company H2 Builders in Bluffton have been building beautiful custom-designed homes in the Hilton Head Island area since 1996, many in the traditional or transitional Lowcountry style. And that style is becoming more popular than ever.
But perhaps none of these spectacular homes are as quintessentially Lowcountry in every exacting detail as the one he built for himself, his family, extended family and friends in the small town of Pineland in Jasper County.
It’s no surprise that sweet potatoes are at the top of nearly everyone’s healthiest foods list. One baked, medium-sized sweet potato contains 438 percent of your daily value of vitamin A (a white potato contains 1 percent), 37 percent of your vitamin C, and some calcium, potassium, and iron too. All this at just 105 calories! What’s more, they also deliver 4 grams of dietary fiber — 16 percent of the daily value — and absolutely zip in terms of fat.
As in any relationship, you get out of it what you put into it. This is especially true when it comes to thin-crust pizza. Local Pie’s chefs Lee Lucier and Jack McNulty and partner J.R. Richardson understand it’s all about the culinary team — and the “double 00” flour of course.
Translated from the Italian “dopio zero,” the “double 00” refers to the ultra-fine grind of the wheat flour, powdery and silky in texture, used to make the sourdough starter for the restaurant’s pizza dough. The custom pizza ovens, which reach temperatures of 900 degrees or more (affectionately called “the twins”), are designed to make pizzas with thin, crisp crusts.
Local restaurant specials for football season
IT’S FOOTBALL SEASON! Many local sports bars and restaurants are full of people watching football on Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays and sometimes Thursdays. Here are a few places where you can score a great deal on food and drinks while watching your favorite team play.
As the fall approaches, so does the promise of crisp, Lowcountry evenings under Friday night lights. For some area football teams, a new season means a new era. For others, it’s a chance to keep building from an already firm foundation.
Last season started and ended with some turbulence as Bluffton High School saw its first game go to forfeiture and Hilton Head Christian Academy said goodbye to its head coach. But local football coaches feel only excitement and hope as the first days of practice and first steps onto the field creep closer and closer.
IF THE FIELD FOR THIS YEAR'S PLAYERS AMATEUR SEEMS ESPECIALLY TOUGH, THAT'S BECAUSE IT TENDS TO HAPPEN IN ODD YEARS — BETTER KNOWN IN AMATEUR GOLF CIRCLES AS WALKER CUP YEARS.
The world's best amateurs will tee up in the Lowcountry for the 16th consecutive year when the Players Amateur moves to Berkeley Hall Club’s North Course for the first time from July 9-12, and with Walker Cup invitations likely hanging in the balance, the competition should be as steamy as a South Carolina summer.
“Three all,” booms the man’s voice, still as loud and clear as it was years ago when he presided over the biggest tennis matches of the day.
Norm Chryst is not chairing this contest, however; he is serving in the match tiebreaker.
Wearing his hat backwards, a black polo and Rogers Cup shorts, Chryst tosses the ball, rocks back and leaps forward to strike a flat first serve.