2018 Fall Conference


Date :: September 5-7, 2018
Location :: Jekyll Island Convention Center, 75 Beachview Dr N, Jekyll Island, GA 31527


Register Online

  Early Registration
(through 8/5)
Late Registration
(through 8/29)
Onsite Registration
GPA Member $250 $295 $325
GPA Non-member $295 $325 $350
Retired / Unemployed / 
Student Volunteer
$125 $125 $125
Planning Official $100 $100  $100

Refund Policy:
Full refunds, less a $25 processing fee, will be provided if requested in writing by August 20th. Unfortunately, no refunds will be provided for cancellations made after August 20th. Cancellation requests should be emailed to events@georgiaplanning.org.

GPA is excited to host the 2018 Fall Conference on September 5th – 7th at the beautiful Jekyll Island Convention Center. In addition to the LEED silver certified convention center, new restaurants and retail have been completed since GPA last visited Jekyll, while still preserving 65% of the island in its natural state.

Join us for a variety of informative sessions, networking with planners and other colleagues, and a chance to relax and rejuvenate in Georgia’s Golden Isles. The keynote speaker will be Michael Boswell, faculty at California Polytechnic State University and head of the school’s City and Regional Planning Department. Michael has done extensive research on climate action planning and will share some strategies that planners can undertake to mitigate the impacts of climate change. If you have any questions, please email Allison Stewart-Harris, VP of Programs.


Fall Conference Scholarships

Did you know that you or a member of your staff may be eligible to receive scholarship funds to offset the cost of attending the GPA Fall Conference? The Denise Abboud Fund of the Georgia Planning Memorial Foundation (GPMF) is dedicated to helping with the education and professional development of planners and volunteer appointees that work in or provide assistance to Georgia cities and counties. The application deadline is August 3rd. Learn more and apply.


Hotel Information

Hampton Inn and Suites
200 South Beachview Drive
Jekyll Island, GA 31527
Hotel website

Group rates:
Standard room: $154 plus tax and $5 Georgia Hotel Fee per night
Suites: $174 plus tax and $5 Georgia Hotel Fee per night

Reservation Cutoff Date: August 13, 2018 or until the block sells out, whichever comes first.

Call for Reservations:

  • Call the hotel directly at 912/635-3733. Reference GA Planning Association to receive group rate.
  • Call Central Reservations at 1/800-426-7866 (1/800-Hampton). Reference GA Planning Association to receive group rate.

BOOK ONLINE

The Westin Jekyll Island
110 Ocean Way
Jekyll Island, GA 31527
Hotel website

Group rates:
Island View: $179 plus tax, $15.00 Resort Charge, and $5.00 Georgia Hotel Fee per night
Ocean View: $199 plus tax, $15.00 Resort Charge, and $5.00 Georgia Hotel Fee per night

Resort Charge includes the following:

  • Island wide shuttle
  • 24 hour access and use of Westin WorkoutTM
  • Wireless internet access in lobby and guest rooms
  • Access and use of Westin Business Center
  • Local and toll free call access
  • Preferred golf and tennis reservation access
  • Self-Parking at the Westin during event

Reservation Cutoff Date: August 13, 2018 or until the block sells out, whichever comes first.

Call for Reservations:

  • Call Central Reservations 1/888-627-8316. Reference GA Planning Association to receive group rate.

BOOK ONLINE


Jekyll Island History

Jekyll Island is the smallest of Georgia’s barrier islands and has a rich and diverse history dating back for centuries. As described in the New Georgia Encyclopedia, Jekyll Island was originally home to Native-American hunter-gatherers. It was later settled in 1737 by Major William Horton, who established a residence and raised cattle on the land. Over the next 200 years, Jekyll Island changed ownership a number of times, with agriculture remaining the primary activity on the island.

In 1886, businessmen John Eugene DuBignon and Newton Finney purchased the island and established the Jekyll Island Club as a hunting club and winter retreat for wealthy northerners. Over the years, the club hosted a number of prominent business leaders, including J.P. Morgan, William K. Vanderbilt, and Joseph Pulitzer. Following a run on US banks in 1907, secret meetings at the Club led to the eventual formation of the US Federal Reserve.

The Jekyll Island Club suffered a series of financial hardships during from the Great Depression through World War II. In 1947, the State of Georgia purchased Jekyll Island for $675,000. Initially established as a state park, the island’s high maintenance and operation costs led to the chartering of the Jekyll Island Authority in 1950. The authority remains in place today as a state agency dedicated to preserving the island’s unique ecosystem and retaining the island as a destination for tourists.

In 1978, the National Park Service designated the Jekyll Island Club with National Historic Landmark District status. Today, visitors are drawn to Jekyll Island for its pristine beaches; bird watching, kayaking, and other ecotourism activities; the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, the state’s only sea turtle educational and rehabilitation facility; the Jekyll Island Club and surrounding historic district; golfing, biking, tennis, and other recreational amenities; and the recently constructed oceanside convention center.