To make the islands more accessible to tourists, Coffin funded repairs to the causeway between the mainland and St. Simons, built twenty-two miles of roads that he later ceded to the county, and began public bus service between Savannah and Jacksonville, Florida, via Brunswick. It also brought modern services to the islands, including the first power plant, a water system and a telephone exchange. Philip Anschutz is perhaps the least known and most influential billionaire in the United States. Among other things, it owns sports teams, concert festivals, arenas and real estate – many properties; In 2017, Town & Country reported that Anschutz was the 22nd largest landowner in the United States. Anschutz is a complicated man. It almost completely avoids the media — the last interview I saw was Town & Country — while giving millions of dollars to a number of conservative organizations that promote everything from supply-side economics to smart design to climate change denial. At the same time, Anschutz bought two of the nation`s finest and most eco-friendly resorts in recent years, Sea Island in Georgia and the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Both places revolve around outdoor activities. Golf is big, as you might expect, but there`s also more organic activity. In Broadmoor, walking and fishing in the nearby wilderness is a central part of the resort`s identity. Sea Island goes even further; It offers an eco-tour, a marsh tour, bird watching, fishing, sea turtle training, falconry.
It even has a nature center with animals from the local habitat and offers courses for children. Sea Island takes these kinds of things seriously, and it would be hard for a visitor to leave the resort without having an idea of what a fragile treasure of nature is. (However, local environmental groups have been fighting Sea Island`s plan to build luxury homes on a small, ecologically sensitive strip of land for several years; Sea Island says its plan would not have a significant impact on the environment.) Sea Island is purchased by the Anschutz family, who also own The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado. This purchase brings together two iconic resorts that share a 186-year tradition of service excellence and marks this historic property`s return to long-term family responsibility and commitment. The formation of The Broadmoor-Sea Island Company was announced in June 2016 with Gary Pierson of Oklahoma City as President and CEO and Steve Bartolin, President of The Broadmoor, as President of the company. Jones begins the company`s long tradition of donating land on nearby St. Simons Island to schools, parks and community churches. The Epworth-by-the-Sea Methodist Conference Center is proving to be a buffer zone that protects Sea Island`s natural beauty from commercialization that would eventually invade other resort islands in the area. For more information, see broadmoor.com and seaisland.com.
The resorts, Sea Island Beach Club and The Cloister, are not far from each other and are connected by a roundabout in the middle of Sea Island Drive, the island`s main road. The beachfront beach club has restaurants, a games room, a bowling alley, an ice cream parlour, a bar and three swimming pools. Sea Island`s main hotel, The Cloister, is located on the southwest side along the Black Banks River. It features restaurants, 200 rooms, a spa, tennis and squash courts, a gym and home to the only five-star Forbes restaurant in the state of Georgia, The Georgian Room. It is the only station in the world to have received four Forbes Five Star Awards for ten consecutive years. The world has changed a lot since Bill Jones and auto magnate Howard Coffin opened The Cloister in 1928 based on genuine warmth and hospitality. But when it comes to creating a “friendly little hotel” on Georgia`s south coast, many have remained timeless for more than 90 years. The values of appreciating family, friends and nature. And the simple traditions that define us.
The same children who played on our shore years ago now bring their children and grandchildren to play on the same beach. Couples celebrate their golden birthdays where they spent their honeymoon. Guests and visitors return year after year, generation after generation. Because between the swamp and the sea there is a private island where the world seems almost perfect. Georgia`s Sea Island is part of a long chain of barrier islands, also known as the “Sea Islands,” along the coasts of South Carolina, Georgia and northern Florida between the Santee and St. Johns rivers. They are fascinated by what Coffin describes as “the darkness of living, beautiful, braided and woven oaks,” setting in motion an affinity for this magical landscape. They bought most of the island in 1912 and built a large house there, hosting many dignitaries over the years.
Although growth slowed during the Great Depression, the still modest resort was able to withstand the financial crisis and World War II. In the post-war years, the monastery and its surrounding community developed slowly, with the hotel welcoming a steady stream of distinguished guests, including U.S. Presidents Hoover, Eisenhower, Ford and Carter.  In 1949, Sarah Churchill married photographer Anthony Beauchamp on the island.  Among the thousands of newlyweds were George and Barbara Bush.  The island`s residential community also grew in number and stature, with millions of dollars in land prices in the late 20th century. An important part of Sea Island`s culture and economy revolves around golf. In 1928, two years after Sea Island Company founder Howard Coffin purchased the Retreat Plantation, the first nine-hole course was completed and aptly named Plantation. The following year, the second nine, Seaside, was founded. In the near future, golf legends such as Bobby Jones, Walter Hagen and Sam Snead have ventured to Sea Island to play on the courses. The first tournament held in the area was the Sea Island Ladies Open Invitational in 1954, won by World Golf Hall of Famer Louise Suggs. Over time, the third resort, Retreat, and two unaffiliated courses, the Frederica Golf Club and the Ocean Forest Golf Club, were also established on the island.
 Steeped in history, Sea Island Resort went bankrupt in 2010 after a premature expansion before the recession transformed what was already an exclusive resort into one of the most luxurious enclaves in the country. In October 2010, a coalition of Oaktree Capital Management, Avenue Capital Group, Starwood Capital and Anschutz Corp. announced a joint bid to acquire the troubled resort company “including its luxury cloister and lodge hotels and four golf courses” for $212.4 million. Ownership of the company, which owns and operates The Cloister Hotel on Sea Island and St. Simons Island, The Lodge at Sea Island with its two golf courses and the Inn at Sea Island, has been consolidated under the Anschutz family, the company said in a press release. The consolidation will also bring a new relationship with The Broadmoor, a Colorado Springs resort that controls Anschutz, the company said.