ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Resort communities like St. Simons Island pride themselves on serving as a “home away from home” – but better. Accommodations are luxurious. Amenities are abundant, and the wide-range of activities are plentiful. It’s a place you can stay.
Golden Isles Aviation, an FBO at McKinnon St. Simons Island Airport (KSSI) is no different. As general aviation's first FBO-hotel combination, complete with a wing-shaped pool, it’s literally a place you can stay.
Located directly on St. Simons Island among "the Golden Isles of Georgia,” less than 10 miles from Brunswick on the mainland, the newly-rebuilt FBO is an ideal destination for corporate meetings and business retreats, as well as for beach lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. According to lifelong resident Larry Wade, Managing Partner and President/General Manager of the FBO, the community is filled with “beaches, fishing, golf, tennis, equestrian, kayaking, boating, sailing, biking and history.”
Fly with Me. Stay with Me.
In 2017, Golden Isles Aviation — which is co-owned by Wade and his partner Bill Walker — opened a brand-new terminal and an 88-room Hilton Home2 Suites, which is owned and operated by Gaines Sturdivant and his team at Mississippi Management Inc.
While the aviation-themed hotel is a fabulous amenity for pilots, it’s most often occupied by non-FBO guests, which presents a unique opportunity to introduce people to the world of aviation. The hotel is connected to the FBO by a beautiful porte-cochère, which is a large covered entrance, and has a wing-shaped pool next to the aviation ramp.
“Many of our guests initially stay at the hotel to visit the beach, but some want to come back next time and just play in the pool and watch the airplanes,” Wade said.
Along with traditional FBO services, the FBO offers homey amenities including a full kitchen, furnished wrap-around porch, fireplace, private bathrooms with showers, and even multiple courtesy cars, which are available for pilots to visit a nearby restaurant or run errands. Both Hertz and Avis car rental counters are also in the FBO. The 6,000-square-foot terminal is designed with living room comfort in mind, albeit one with a restored Baby Great Lakes sport biplane suspended from the ceiling.
One of the seven hangars at the FBO has been turned into a stunning, climate-controlled event space designed for meetings, receptions and charity events. With a vintage Aeronica Chief aircraft suspended from the ceiling and string lights along the interior, the space creates the perfect ambiance for aviation-themed events.
For the golfers – and there are many that visit the area – the FBO is complete with a practice putting green, PGA golf memorabilia and decor, and a golf membership for FBO pilot guests in which complimentary clubs are provided if needed.
An Independent FBO with a Network of Support
Golden Isles Aviation is a part of the Air Elite Network of independent FBOs, which has allowed Golden Isles to network and create opportunities with other FBOs, yet still remain a local operation. Each Air Elite Network FBO is a member of the World Fuel Services Network (WFSN), which offers Phillips 66 Aviation fuel to its FBOs in the U.S.
When asked about their relationship with Phillips 66 Aviation, Wade says, “Phillips 66 is very gracious in desiring feedback, ideas and comments from their FBO network. They put effort into really developing a relationship with us, and I feel it’s a true partnership.”
Golden Isles Aviation proudly participates in Phillips 66 WingPoints® Rewards Program, NATA Safety 1st Training, and utilizes many other Phillips 66 Aviation FBO offerings. To learn more about Phillips 66 Aviation FBO support and incentive programs, click here.
For more information about Golden Isles Aviation, visit goldenislesaviation.com.