Profits and Politics in Paradise: The Development of Hilton Head Island

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Just north of where the Savannah River flows into the Atlantic lies an idyllic stretch of beach, marsh, and forest known as Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. In the 1950s, Charles Fraser transformed this almost forgotten barrier island into one of America's premier vacation destinations and, in doing so, invented the modern resort and retirement community. In this case study of that archetypal development and the others that followed on Hilton Head Island, Michael N. Danielson explores the interplay of private power and public authority as well as the dilemma of growth in America's recreation-based communities. Danielson contends that Hilton Head offers fertile ground for evaluating the influence of private elites and public officials on largely self-contained resort and retirement communities, an increasingly important but previously unexamined component of urban growth in America. Identifying growth as the island's central political issue, Danielson submits that resorts like Hilton Head face the similar predicament - the reality that economic expansion alters the very attributes that attracted developers, residents, and vacationers to a particular locale. His case study illustrates the impact of growth on the economic and political fortunes of a geographic area and the residents living in it.
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Editorial Reviews

In the 1950s, Charles Fraser invented the modern American resort and retirement community with his developments at Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Danielson (urban development, Princeton U.) explores the interplay of private power and public authority and the dilemma of growth in America's recreation-based communities, using Hilton Head as a case study. He submits that resorts such as Hilton Head face a predicament when expansion alters the attributes that attracted vacationers in the first place. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781570030390
  • Publisher: University of South Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/1995
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 360
  • Sales rank: 444,027
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2010

    "Profits and Politics in Paradise" by Michael N. Danielson

    Danielson provides a history of the remarkable development of Hilton Head Island, SC as a destination resort for the sports-minded, for families and for business development and as a comfortable location for retirement. He successfully tracks the chronology of the Island from the founding families beginning with Charles Fraser, the father of Sea Pines Plantation and first protector of the fragile environment we all enjoy today. Economic expansion was necessary to provide for growth as the influx of resorts and property owners created a model for controlled environmental concerns. The author summerizes that Charles Fraser's dreams coupled with profit-taking were in balance to make the Island a beautiful garden.

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