2012 Elf Ride on Hilton Head Delivers Food, Toys and Coats

It was a fun bicycle ride on Hilton Head Island from Palmetto Dunes to Saint Andrews By The Sea United Methodist Church on Pope Avenue. Linda Warnock, the controller at Dunes Marketing Group, organized the bike club Kickin’Asphalt, Road Fish bike shop, and the Realtors and employees at Dunes Marketing Group to collect and deliver food, toys, and coats to the soup kitchen that is open on Fridays for lunch at St. Andrews UMC. Our bikes were loaded down with the joy of giving as we cheerfully brought the generous offerings to the church.

hilton head bike club delivers food

When we unloaded all the bikes and Burley trailers, it completely filled the kitchen and tables with food, toys, and coats. There were tears of joy and thanksgiving shed knowing that many folks going through tough times will be touched by the generous donations. It was a great day for the Saint Andrews By The Sea soup kitchen folks and we all felt better in body and soul for being part of the event. It was filled with fun and with the sense of loving community that I have so often experienced since moving to Bluffton / Hilton Head Island over three years ago.

kickin asphalt bike club on hilton head island 

“Let’s do it again next year!” everyone told Linda and I agree – hope you can join us!

Ahh Green Spa on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Looking for something different to do on Hilton Head Island with your grandchildren?

I discovered a quaint little gem in Coligny Plaza that offers a quiet escape from all the hustle and bustle of being over-stressed from exams, what gifts to buy, what to do, where to go, what to eat…. you know… sometimes being a child is stressful and just as stressing for the grandparent. We love to see them come for visits and to go visit them as well. And there is nothing I love more than being with them, but it is true what they say…the joy of being a grandparent is to spoil them and have lots of laughs and tons of fun and hopefully make very special memories, but it is always good to be able to give them back to their parents.

I didn’t think there was anything else left to share that my granddaughters would enjoy more than eating all the ice cream they wanted when they wanted it, and yes, even for breakfast, and having pizza delivered, shopping, playing on the beach, or simply just hanging out at Grammy’s doing nothing at all except what they wanted to do. And then…

We get a massage together. The younger granddaughter and I had a “couples massage” which I have to admit out of the mouths of babes… she said, “This was AMAZING!” And she meant it. First we were asked to smell different types of aromatherapy oils and to choose which one fit us the best. Lucky for me, we both chose the same one…Good Karma… It worked out perfectly since we were in the “couples room.” You know, this is probably a good opportunity for real couples to determine if they are more compatible. If you should luck up and choose the same aromatherapy oils or not. Just saying…

Anyways, it was well worth the experience. The next time you are looking for something different to do on Hilton Head Island… Check out Ahh Green Spa at www.AhhGreenSpa.com. They offer a lot of treatments using organic, fair trade, and vegan products that are paraben, phthalate & cruelty free – staying in harmony with nature.

Trust me – you’ll be glad you did!

Why the Beach on Hilton Head Island Makes us Happy

I recently read an article in Coastal Living Magazine. In the article doctors in the fields of Biology, Neuroscience, and Psychology discuss their theories about why the beach makes us happy. These Scientists are studying the positive affects that the beach and the ocean have on you and me.

The article goes on to state the obvious reasons that we love going to the beach for vacation are: its beauty, we can control our day, restful sleeping, walks, reading, and eating fresh food. It is certainly true that we can do what we want to do on vacation as opposed to what we have to do. You can have both if you live on Hilton Head Island. Here you can hear the soothing soft continuous sounds of the waves coming ashore or those of the local wild life communicating in nature. Isn’t it great to take off your shoes and wiggle your toes in the sand? There is something about the smell of salt in the air. At the end of the day you experience a good tired feeling; a satisfied tired feeling.


We can play with our children and grand children. We can listen to their dreams and plans for the future. It’s a place where several generations have so much in common. It’s a place where we can make so many pleasurable memories. Memories that can not be replaced are priceless. It is a place where time slows down just a little. “It’s a place where you can allow yourself just to be.”

There is something about the ocean that can be almost hypnotic. It goes on forever with such mystery of what is in it and who has traveled it. It is a cause for wonder. Beautiful Dolphins coming in to feed are a sight to behold in the late afternoon and sunsets seem more glorious over the ocean at the end of the day. You can experience these joys living at or by the beach on Hilton Head Island.

Hilton Head Lifeguards – A History

Here is the story. Back in the day…1973 my older cousins Kent and Colin Hungerpiller decided to “take the plunge” and Shore Enterprises was born. Having worked in Myrtle Beach as lifeguards, they figured there was a need and it was time to start the first Beach Service on Hilton Head Island. Kent and Colin met with the owners and managers of the Hilton Head Inn (now Marriott Grande Ocean) and the Adventure Inn (now Vacant Land) and agreed to provide lifeguard, trash, and emergency personnel in front of the resorts on the beach. In return for services rendered, they were allowed to rent umbrellas, floats, and sailboats to the guests and store the equipment on the resorts’ property at night.

“Competition made America great!” After one year of operation, Dick Ryan moved down from Myrtle Beach and opened up his stand and services just north on the beach at the Holiday Inn.  Things went well for all, until the third year when Dick made an offer to my cousins that they couldn’t refuse and became sole owner in 1975.

The following year, 1976, I graduated High School and came to Hilton Head Island for the summer with my younger cousin, David. Upon arriving, David gave me the Grand Tour of the island and beaches…I was in awe. Having grown up going to Myrtle Beach with all the neon lights, billboards, and traffic, I could not believe a place as beautiful as Hilton Head could be anywhere on Earth.

So as I attended Wofford College, I returned to Hilton Head Island each summer to spend my days on the beach finding lost children, picking up trash, keeping our swimmers safe, treating jellyfish stings (with Adolfs meat tenderizer), sunburns, and renting umbrellas, chairs, floats, and sailboats. 

Upon graduating from Wofford in 1980, I was honored by Dick offering me the job to become the first full time Beach Patrol Manager for his growing business. More hotels and resorts were opening, HHI was being discovered around the world, and more locations, equipment, and services (trash and cleanup) grew as well.

After only a few months of managing the business for Dick, once again I was honored when he offered me an opportunity to own a part of Shore Enterprises. I will share the funny story and how hard work and being in the right place at the right time can be a wonderful thing. One day Dick called me into his office and said he wanted to talk to me. I sat down a little nervous and hoping I had not done something wrong. Again to my surprise it was the total opposite. Dick told me he appreciated my hard work and dedication. It truly was appreciated in that with very little exaggeration, I always seemed to work 6 ½ to 7 days a week, 12 and 14 hour days! Whew! Anyhow, the next words out of his mouth were a shock and somewhat funny. He said, “Tad, I want to offer you a chance to buy, own, and operate our sailboat operation and continue your role as manager of Shore Enterprises.” For a few seconds I sat in silence. Why in the world would he suggest such a thing? I said, “Dick, I think, I thank you. But I don’t have any money and I don’t know diddly about sailboats!” He said, “I will make you a deal you can’t refuse and you will learn fast.”

So, he made the offer to buy 15 sailboats, one small chase boat and some spare parts for ,000. I needed to come up with ,500 and he would finance the rest over a 5 year period. Scared to death and not knowing what to do, the following week my older cousin Colin came to visit. I told Colin my offer he said he would kick my behind if I did not accept the offer and sign the contract. I said, “Colin, where in the world can I find ,500 and ,000 is a lot of money!” Long story short, my family helped me with the down payment and I became the proud owner of the sailboats. The first year out of the box, my hard work and risk paid off. In 1981 I truly could not believe that my sailboats had netted me a gross profit of about ,000! The next 4 years got better and better and my fleet grew to 75 boats!

So after 5 years of blood, sweat and tears, my business was paid for. 1986 was my first year operating free and clear. Blessed once again with a very profitable year, I was offered another deal I could not refuse. I had purchased my business for ,000, profited well every year, and then sold it in 1986 for ,000!

Not knowing what was next in my life, I found myself being recruited to sell real estate on Hilton Head Island at Palmetto Dunes with Dunes Marketing Group. I told Bill Baldwin I enjoyed working with customers but I knew nothing about real estate. He said I would learn fast…HA! Here I am today, working hard, doing well, and serving my customers.

Finally, life is always interesting and sometimes there are unusual twists. Today Dick Ryan and I are still partners but we are now in the real estate business. Imagine, more than thirty years together on the beach at Hilton Head Island!

How Can We Live Like We Love The Ocean?

Happy New Year! I apologize for the late New Year’s greeting. It’s been a busy time which is quite unusual for the first of the year. I believe it’s a true sign that the economy is coming back, especially in the real estate market on Hilton Head. We were over 20% percent higher in sales transactions last year! As a matter of fact, Beaufort County (Hilton Head Island, in particular) is flying high above any other area in the state in real estate sales.

I’ve been so busy that I have a bit of writer’s block. However, I read an article written by David Lauderdale for our local newspaper, The Island Packet, that put down some great points I’ve tried to convey to potential buyers. I have his permission to share in this blog. I hope that for buyers that have taken the leap of faith and for those that need a little extra nudge, this article that touched my heart may touch yours as well. So here goes…..

What happens in the brain that makes people happy at the beach? Scientist Wallace J. Nichols of California believes if we knew that, we could get more people to help save the ocean. Nichols is a sea turtle biologist with a doctorate and a friend and colleague of Sally Murphy of Sheldon, who for decades conserved sea turtles for the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.

But, Nichols is pushing for scientific data on the more fuzzy nature of man – such as what pulls us, generation after generation, to the seashore.

“Economists, marketers and politicians recognize that deep-seated, inscrutable emotions, not rationality, are what rule human behavior,” Nichols wrote in a Huffington Post blog. “Aided by cognitive neuroscientists, these fields have begun to understand how our deepest, most primordial emotions drive virtually every decision we make, from what we buy to the candidates we elect.”

He said the lessons of cognitive neuroscience also should be used for ocean conservation.

“Consider these questions:

“Why is ‘ocean view’ the most valuable phrase in the English language, bestowing a 50 percent premium on everything from lunch to a night’s sleep in a hotel room to a beachfront cottage?

“If stress causes disease, and the ocean reduces stress, is time spent in, on, under or near the ocean good medicine?

“Can our deepening understanding of brain science be applied to better protection for ocean animals, being eaten to extinction by addicted and power-hungry humans?”

Scientists of many disciplines have tackled the issue for the last two years at “BLUEMiND Summits” organized by Nichols.

Nichols calls the field “neuroconservation.” It’s part of his movement called “LiVBLUE: Live Like You Love The Ocean.”

Murphy said that for her, the same feelings are triggered by looking across a marsh vista.

Journalist Barry Yeoman gives a good overview on the new science in the February edition of Coastal Living Magazine.

Acoustics are part of the allure: pleasant, rhythmic sounds instead of airplane noise. The flat plane of the ocean’s surface, the fathomless deep, the tactile sensation of sand between our toes, the closeness to nature and our activities when we get to the beach are dissected by scientists, sometimes with the help of laboratory mice.

Much of it is beyond the blue horizon of my brain.

But I understand why the rewards of a walk on the beach last much longer than the walk. Scientist Scott Huettel speaks of “intermediate-level complexity” and “negative ions” before putting it this way:

“It’s trite, but it’s not the stuff you have. It’s the memories you make.”

You may also like to go to David Lauderdale’s link http://bit.ly/V1JNrl


The New Mall at Shelter Cove – Happy Times are Here Again

Yep, that’s right. The developers won final approval Tuesday to build a new outdoor mall to replace The Mall at Shelter Cove.

Architects Wood + Partners can rest a little easier. The Town of Hilton Head Island’s Design and Review Board unanimously approved the plans for our new outdoor mall.

It will be called Shelter Cove Towne Centre, a mixture of shops and cafes that will be a part of the revamped mall. The developers, Blanchard and Calhoun Commercial are delighted as well as property owners and guests of Hilton Head Island.

Demolition of the mall began on January 10. New construction will begin within the next 30 days. Unbelievable excitement abounds with all the locals. We have seen this in bigger metropolitan areas and wondered if it was ever possible on our “little island called Paradise.”   Well, I’m here to announce proudly …It is!

We will have an outdoor mall with several single story shops and cafes set between a Kroger grocery store on one end and the existing Belk department store on the other.  

Best of all is a walking area leading to views of Broad Creek that will bisect the mall.

The cost is expected to be around million and feature 290,000 square feet of retail space which will be completed in two phases. Kroger will be completed first with opening in the fall of 2013. The rest will be completed in the spring or summer of 2014. Hilton Head Island is on a roll.  

Oh man….. the design features are unbelievable…Indigenous trees, benches, a bike service station, drinking fountain with a dog-level fountain and surfaces made up of concrete mixed with oyster shells. Plus, expansive views of Broad Creek and Shelter Cove Harbour.

Development on Hilton Head Island is simply put: “top shelf”….. and this is no exception.

Sprucing Up Sea Pines Resort in 2013

In addition to the million renovations slated for a new Golf Club replacing the old Plantation Club, the second new clubhouse will be at the famed Pete Dye designed Harbour Town Golf Links that is home to the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing.

Resort officials confirmed plans for an estimated million for this renovation. They will begin tearing down the Harbour Town Clubhouse after this year’s Heritage and will begin building a larger, modern version. The current clubhouse was built in 1969 – the same year the golf tournament began on Hilton Head. In addition to being old, it is too small to accommodate the more than 130 PGA players. President of Sea Pines Resort, Steve Birdwell said resort officials envision replacing the 11,000 square foot facility with an 18,000 square foot facility with dual locker rooms for tournament players and their guests. The pro shop will be expanded along with a new pub and grill. The Harbour Town golf course will remain open during the renovations.

The old Plantation Clubhouse has already been torn down. The new clubhouse is scheduled for completion in February 2014.

Sea Pines Resort also has plans for upgrading the Ocean Course Golf Course which is the first golf course built on Hilton Head Island.  It was built by Greenwood Development that developed Palmetto Dunes, Leamington, and Shelter Cove Resort. Owners of Greenwood Development, the Self family, brought their heavy equipment from Greenwood, South Carolina to build the course for Charles Frazier, the developer of Sea Pines.

In addition, the Sea Pines Beach Club is in the process of finalizing plans to expand outdoor casual dining with improvements slated to begin this fall.

Sea Pines Resort has already spent close to million in the last five years upgrading its amenities, including The Inn at Harbour Town that received a 2012 Forbes Four Star Award.

Special thanks and cheers to Bill Goodwin, the Richmond, Virginia based owner of Sea Pines Resort for improving our community and the signature of Hilton Head Island.

New Developments in Shelter Cove and Sea Pines Plantation

Developers broke ground Wednesday for the new Kroger Marketplace that will anchor one end of Hilton Head Island’s new Shelter Cove Towne Center, formerly The Mall at Shelter Cove.

The 87,588 square foot Kroger will be the largest grocery store on Hilton Head. It will feature a Starbucks coffee kiosk; Murray’s Cheese Shop; a restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating; fresh sushi; a walk-in beer cooler; a “growler filling station,” where people can fill up jugs with draft beer; a resident wine expert; a drive-through pharmacy; and an outdoor bicycle-repair station. Kroger is expected to open in early December of 2013 with the addition of other new mall tenants arriving as the center opens fully in 2014. Collins and Arnold Construction of Atlanta will build the store. 

Mike Schlotman, Kroger chief financial officer said, “We see opportunity in the growing year-round population of this beautiful place … and in the millions of visitors that return year after year.”

Mayor Drew Laughlin called the development “a vote of confidence in the future of Hilton Head Island.”

The 42-acre Towne Center is estimated to cost million dollars and will include 290,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space. It will be built in three stages. The shopping area will be bisected by a walking area that will have views of Broad Creek and lead to a relocated Shelter Cove Community Park.

The center is expected to create more than 450 jobs and generate .1 million in annual sales tax revenue.

Sea Pines has also released plans for a new Sea Pines Beach Club with upstairs outdoor and indoor dining with ocean views. As well as a new Golf Club replacing the old Plantation Club for the Ocean Course and Heron Golf Course, and a new club house for Harbour Town Heritage Golf Club. See my previous blog here.

Hilton Head Island is going to be an even more spectacular place than ever before. Just when you think you can’t improve on paradise…. Look out….!

Exciting time for property owners …. If you’re looking, don’t miss the boat… join the crowd as soon as you can!

Palmetto Dunes Villas – Setting the Pace in 2013

Palmetto Dunes OceanfrontIt is that time of the year in our ocean oriented markets where after rounding the first quarter, Easter and the Heritage, we can confidently identify the trendsetting properties.  After examining the Palmetto Dunes real estate market for the last four months, there is no doubt that villa sales are paving the way with sales trends we have not seen in over 6 years. 

Looking through the figures over the last 6 years for home, villa and lot sales in Palmetto Dunes, there is a trend that is screaming in the villa market.   Comparing the year-to-date sales (January 1st through April 25th) for each of the past several years, it only takes going back to 2011 before seeing that something big is happening.  Currently, 51 villa sales have closed, which compared with 2011’s 27 villas presents an 88% increase in activity.  Sounds great, right?  Well, it is a powerful figure if and only if the market inventory is not increasing and I am happy to say it is the exact opposite.  Villa listing inventory during this time in 2011 was at 223 villas while today’s inventory is showing a 23% decrease with only 172 on the market.  Apply some basic economic concepts of decreasing supply coupled with increasing demand and you would predict that prices should start going up.   Well, no prediction necessary as the actual figures show a 9.5% increase in average sale price to and a 6% increase in the median sale price to .  

So what does this mean?  If you have been considering villa ownership in Palmetto Dunes then it is time to make a buying decision.  Our Hilton Head real estate market figures are showing signs across the board that we are rebounding, but certain markets like Palmetto Dunes villas are presenting exceptionally clear evidence.  Our Palmetto Dunes real estate specialists at Dunes Marketing Group know the inventory inside and out, and if you have been on the fence for years, then I recommend you give one of them a call or risk being stuck on the fence forever. 

To speak with a Palmetto Dunes real estate specialist, call us at 843 842 1111.

The Heritage on Hilton Head in 2013 is a Windy Win for Graeme McDowell

The Heritage on Hilton Head in 2013 is a Windy Win for Graeme McDowell“A WINDY WIN” is how our local Island Packet described Graeme McDowell’s Hilton Head win, who earned ,044,000 and took home the plaid jacket.

The weather was evidently just what the doctor ordered for this guy from North Ireland to win the Heritage of Golf at Sea Pines Plantation. Plus, it was his first PGA Tour win. He defeated U.S. Open champ Webb Simpson, what I’d call a local boy from Charlotte, NC, in a playoff.

In any case, the RBC Heritage scores again for Hilton Head Island. In spite of the stiff winds, soaking rains, and hurting hearts, the 45th edition of the PGA Tour event delivered good golf, good crowds, and plenty of good times around the Harbour Town Golf Links.  The restaurants, shops, booths, locals … everyone benefited beyond imagination from what this week brings to Hilton Head Island…one of 

A special appreciation to CBS Sports News for capturing so many shining moments of great golf shots every day –  Birdies, eagles, narrow fairways, herons scoring almost 100% of the time catching fish in the lagoons while golfers were enjoying their walk working toward earning the title and just simply taking in the beauty of Hilton Head Island, the Southeast, and the Lowcountry of our nation…  Did I mention that this is my neck of the woods? I was born in Aiken County right next door to Augusta, GA, home of the Masters and now to live on Hilton Head, home of the PGA Heritage of Golf. Imagine! Also, another special thank you to CBS Sports for 58 years of announcing at the hallowed grounds of Augusta at the Masters where this year the first Australian, Adam Scott took home the green jacket.

And all this in the midst of a tough week where lives ended and other lives changed forever in Boston and West, Texas. And the death of Pat Summerall; there was not a finer man in the business. The announcer that helped put Hilton Head Island on the map. When golfers were on the 18th fairway facing the famous Harbour Town Light House, he would always say, Sea Pines “Condominiums to the right. Calibogue Sound to the left.”  He had celebrated 21 years of sobriety. He had spent 26 years announcing the Masters and from his hospital bed, the Sunday night before, he said “So long I’ll miss you. I’ve got to get to Butler Cabin, they need me.”  

So… so long Pat Summerall, we will miss you too.

Remember it’s never too late. When you think about the things you would have said, the things you should have done, don’t miss fulfilling your dream of moving to Hilton Head Island, or whatever it is…get away!

Make sure you don’t run out of time before you run out of money.

P.S.  Golfer, James Driscoll, Bostonian, watched last year’s race from a bar close to the finish line and site of the bombings and had friends in this year’s race. This year he was in Harbour Town preparing for the Heritage when the marathon bombings happened last Monday.  He announced on Wednesday that he will donate ,000 for every birdie he made at the Heritage and ,000 for every birdie he will make at the Zurich Classic in New Orleans this week to benefit the victims of the bombings. Golfers are great classic gentlemen… no doubt about it.

Photo credit to the IslandPacket.com.