It's been almost a year since President Bush made the decision to hold the G-8 summit on Sea Island. Since then, massive preparations have been made in terms of security, hospitality and generally making ready for world leaders. In an exclusive interview, WTOC talked with the man who runs the Sea Island Company, Bill Jones III, about how they're getting ready to welcome the world with open arms.
"The whole community, our guests that have been here for months, everyone is thrilled," he said.
Last-minute details are just being added. "We've just spruced up what is already world class, we've done a little extra landscaping, but we didn't have to do a whole lot for the summit," Jones told us.
Jones watched as the finishing touches were made to the centerpiece of the summit, the table which is located in the Ocean Room. It was built by one of his close friends, Dr. Carl Dohn. "He's a perfectionist, and has a great work ethic," said Jones. "I knew he'd do a great job."
And when the summit is over, the table will be a constant reminder of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
"We plan to build a room around it, in the main building of the new Cloister Hotel, which we'll call the Sea Island Summit Room," said Jones.
Already the evidence of presidential visits lines the grounds as an oak tree is traditionally planted by each. This time, Jones hopes evidence of the world leaders will continue that tradition. "We hope that maybe we can get the leaders to plant an oak, that would be a legacy of the meeting," said Jones.
Jones is also hoping President Bush will plant his own tree to match the one his father planted when he celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary with his wife on Sea Island.