A Heart for Hospitality

The John's Island Club celebrates 50 years of exceeding expectations
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This aerial view spans the island from the ocean to the lagoon. The Beach Club, the Golf Club, the north and south golf courses, the tennis and pickleball courts, and most of the residential areas in the community can be seen.

 

In the ocean-to-river community known as John’s Island, residents of today share an ambition with those who came in the early days: to have fun. “Most people join our club in their 50s and 60s,” says Brian Kroh, general manager of the John’s Island Club since 1996. “Our members are in the last quarter or third of their working lives and are ready to enjoy themselves.”

This private, safe haven for those who value low density and natural beauty welcomes new and returning members with an ever-lengthening list of amenities and excellent service. “I tell our new employees at orientation, ‘People who choose to live here can live anywhere, but they choose us.’” Kroh adds that clubs he has been associated with in the past are mostly local in nature, but not so here. “People come from all over the States and the world. Our membership is full now at 1,394. During high season, we employ 575 people.” Kroh asks prospective hires why they want to work at the John’s Island Club. One man told him, “You have to have hospitality in your heart. Either you have it or you don’t.”

Early residents of John’s Island often heard their friends from the North exclaim, “You’re moving where?” Ba Stone came in 1972 with her husband Mason and their children, ages 3 and 4. Four families were the initial residents, and the four men were also the original sales team. “We came from Darien, Connecticut, on a whim, riding the Auto Train,” recalls Stone. “It was a unique opportunity and we decided to take it. I remember there were no buildings north of Jaycee Park, and as we passed there into the tree canopy, I wondered where we were going.”

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