Parking changes announced at RBC Heritage Media Day - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Parking changes announced at RBC Heritage Media Day

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC (WTOC) -

Folks in Hilton Head are gearing up for the 48th RBC Heritage Golf Tournament.

Officials announced some changes to this year’s tournament Monday morning at Media Day.

Tournament officials partnered with the town of Hilton Head and Coligny Plaza to add dozens more parking spaces in the Coligny Beach Parking lot. Shuttles will be provided from Coligny and Honey Horn Drive.

Heritage officials say they’re working every year to make the tournament parking more efficient and convenient.

“There will be bike racks there. It’s something we’re going to look at. This is different than last year and if works, we might create some other shuttle areas around the island for people to come in and out. But we’re going to crawl before you walk, and walk before you run. We’re jogging pretty fast but hopefully we’ll have a lot of positive feedback from this experience,” said RBC Heritage Tournament Director Steve Wilmot.

Business owners on the south end of Hilton Head saw a big drop in foot traffic in their stores when Heritage officials moved the parking to the north end of the island. Now that they’re bringing some of the parking back to Coligny in the south end of the island, business owners are hoping they can get a bigger piece of the $96 million economic impact the Heritage brings to the area.

In 2014, folks parked at Sea Pins. It was a disaster.

So in 2015, tournament officials moved parking to the North End of the Island. It ran smoothly, but one large group of people were affected.

“Last year it was a little slower than it had been typically,” said Jeff Zigelstein, Hilton Head business owner.

“Normally we have really good business around that time but it was a little slower because people parked on the other end of the island and when they went home, they of course never made it to this area and we really suffered. The whole area around here suffered a little bit,” said Val Saenger, works in a Hilton Head store.

Hilton Head business owners and employees on the south end are ecstatic that tournament officials are bringing folks back to the south end of the island.

“This way maybe people, when they come back to the tournament, they stop and shop a little bit around here,” said Saenger.

“It can’t hurt. If we can get them here, they have an opportunity to come across the street this year. Hopefully it will drive more business in the south end,” said Zigelstein.

Tournament officials say they added the parking to make the shuttle service more efficient for residents and visitors on the south end – and it’s a win-win scenario for everyone. The town’s mayor agrees.

“I think it was a good decision. I don’t think that there’s any reason why we need to have everyone parking at the exact same location. I think having some parking on the south end will allow people to access the restaurant services that are located on the south end and give them some economic benefit as well,” said Hilton Head Mayor David Bennett.

Spectators will not need a ticket to ride the Official RBC Heritage shuttles, and the drop-off location near the Gregg Russell Playground is convenient to the Will Call/Ticket Office at Harbour Town Golf Links.

Shuttle riders must follow the tournament’s safety and security policy and may not bring any prohibited items onto the buses. A list of prohibited and permitted items can be found at www.pgatour.com/prohibiteditems.

Shuttle service will run regularly between 6:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. Monday, April 11, through Sunday, April 17.

Copyright 2016 WTOC. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2016 WTOC. All rights reserved.

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