Sea Trail Golf Resort Community Updates

Dear Sea Trail Residents and Members,I hope this message finds you well. As a Declarant, Developer, Builder, Golf Resort Owner, and Board Member of Sea Trail Golf Resort, I am contacting you to provide essential updates and clarifications.The purpose of this correspondence is to address and dispel any rumors or misinformation currently circulating within our community. We understand that such rumors can cause unnecessary concern and confusion, and we are committed to ensuring that everyone is well-informed with accurate and up-to-date information.In this update, I will cover various topics related to our positions within Sea Trail Golf Resort, including:

  1. Golf Course and Commercial Facility Updates:  Clarify ownership and management details, including the roles of the Resort Ownership Group and East Coast Golf Management, and distinguish these entities from the STMA property.
  2. Developer Update:  Provide information on the Gulls Landing project, outline developer-paid amenities, and clarify who is responsible for various costs and why.
  3. Riptide Builders Update:  Offering clarification on the entities and roles within Riptide Builders.
  4. Board Member Update:  Highlighting our fiduciary responsibilities and commitment to making responsible and intelligent decisions for STMA members and owners. We will also explain how we leverage our positions as a developer, vertical builder, and resort owner to benefit the board and STMA.

This correspondence will be the declarant’s update for today’s Public STMA Board meeting. It will be emailed to the community before the meeting and available for distribution at the board meeting.  It was essential to provide this correspondence in light of my absence.Please take the time to read through this information carefully. It aims to provide clarity and transparency regarding the ongoing and upcoming activities within our community.1. Golf Course and Commercial Facility UpdatesWe are excited to announce that the Byrd Course has commenced its multi-million-dollar renovation. This transformation is designed to elevate the Byrd Course into one of the most sought-after courses in our region. The renovation is scheduled for completion by the end of August, making the course available for the fall season. We encourage you to follow the Sea Trail Golf Resort Facebook page for continuous updates, including videos, pictures, and information about the renovation projects.In addition to the Byrd Course, we are upgrading facilities across all three courses:

  • Restroom Renovations: All six bathrooms on the courses are being renovated and are expected to be completed within the next few weeks.
  • Irrigation System Overhaul: Significant investments have been made to revamp the irrigation systems, including pump houses, ensuring optimal performance, which is essential for course maintenance.
  • Infrastructure Enhancements: This includes replacing or repairing wooden bridges, installing new signage across all courses, and laying new cart paths for the Byrd Course with plans for similar updates on the others.

The Jones Byrd Clubhouse is also undergoing extensive renovations and additions. Currently, we are preparing to install Sheetrock and insulation. The clubhouse is getting a new roof as we speak, and siding contractors are actively working on the exterior. Many finish items have already started to arrive. We aim to reopen the Jones Byrd Clubhouse before the 4th of July. While this timeline is not guaranteed, we are trying to achieve it. We are thrilled about the prospect of delivering what we believe will be the region’s most desired and diverse golf resort clubhouse.Sunset Cove, our new “turn house” located under the Jones Byrd Clubhouse, is nearing the completion of final details and operational setups. This facility will soon open and provide a great addition to the club.New signage for Sea Trail Golf Resort and Sunset Prime will be installed late next week in the center island with the brick monument, and additional signs will be placed on the newly constructed blank center islands, branding them for the course and its commercial facilities.Regarding the property formerly known as the VAC building, it is essential to clarify that it is a standalone private commercial facility, just like the golf courses, clubhouses, and convention center. The STMA or any sub-association does not own it and has no obligations to these associations by law. We have faced shocking accusations suggesting otherwise, which are entirely unfounded. Under conditional zoning approvals and all local and state laws, this facility will operate in a manner that best serves the ownership group and our overall commercial golf resort plan.Sunset Tiki, set to open on 7-4-24, will be part of this facility, offering food and beverage services, including poolside service, a tiki bar, and outdoor dining. This will be a private club facility, with access requiring a membership. Current Sea Trail Golf Resort club members will enjoy this amenity free of charge for the remainder of 2024. Sea Trail Residents and others will have access at nominal rates.This facility’s first phase of renovations will include a complete overhaul of all pool decks, outdoor pools, landscape, dining areas, and the tiki bar. The interior dining area, lobby, front elevation, and roof are also part of the renovation plans before the 4th of July. Later this year, we plan to redesign the remainder of the facility into a state-of-the-art fitness center, which may include partnerships with programs like Silver Sneakers to benefit our residents.We are committed to transparency and open communication, but respecting the private nature of these commercial endeavors is crucial. We will continue to provide updates as plans solidify, but please remember, these facilities operate as any private business would, independent of the STMA dues and operations.In conclusion, we are addressing these updates comprehensively due to the rampant spread of misinformation. A vocal minority has propagated baseless accusations, which we will not tolerate. To protect our interests, legal actions will be pursued against slanderous claims. We have invested immensely in Sea Trail and are dedicated to enhancing this community. As we move forward, your continued support and cooperation in maintaining a respectful and constructive dialogue are appreciated.2. Developer UpdateWe are pleased to report that Phase 1 of Gulls Landing has been recorded, comprising approximately 47 single-family home lots. Completing the second phase, which will bring the total to 93 single-family home lots, is just a few months away. As with all our residential projects, these lots will contribute $1,000 each towards the Capital Improvement Plan at closing. This initiative, designed and executed by fellow board members, our board attorney, and myself, has already generated substantial funds for the STMA Capital Improvement Plan. It will continue to do so, totaling nearly $750,000 at its completion.As we have emphasized in the past, we cannot accomplish everything everywhere at once. We are not interested in selling tracts of land to other developers who may not share our vision for Sea Trail. We intend for the resort to be controlled by strategic ownership, with all its commercial facilities operating as a unified entity, ensuring aligned goals, consistent staff, seamless service, and an exceptional experience.On the residential development side, we will continue to control and construct all aspects of land development, including amenities, streetscapes, entries, and green space amenities. We will dictate architectural requirements to any approved builders under our declarant control. Any builder we partner with will have undergone thorough vetting and demonstrated their ability to meet our stringent architectural standards, ensuring the continuation of solid property values and attractive, quality homes for future owners.While we would prefer to develop and construct every vertical build, doing so personally would significantly extend the timeline for the resort’s completion and restrict our ability to diversify funding into other projects. To be clear, we will not sell significant portions of land to tract home builders. Our substantial investments in Sea Trail ensure that we have the most to protect and the most to lose, so it would make no sense for us to take actions that could adversely affect property values.Regarding Gulls Landing, there have been rumors circulating that need clarification. We are the developer and owners of all the lots in Gulls Landing. We have entered into a purchase contract for the lots—not the development—with Ryan Homes, and they will close on their first four lots later this month. We have approved some beautiful builds with the same architectural materials and components used in Byrd Watch. Ryan Homes has agreed to our advanced landscaping standards. As the developer, we have doubled the amount of street trees required by town ordinances, far exceeding entry requirements for streetscapes. We will continue to go above and beyond with enhancements to beautify Sea Trail. We continue to add significant landscape enhancements to common areas and buffers within the community.Our partnership with Ryan Homes is based on their ability to produce beautiful, comparable products that align with our vision for Sea Trail and are similar to the products we have constructed in the community. We have seen this in Indigo Bay and Grand Dunes, among other projects they have done in the Myrtle Beach area. Their plan designs, specific to the patio-sized lots in Gulls Landing, are a perfect fit. More importantly, their willingness to adhere to our strict architectural and landscape guidelines has been crucial. While this partnership may extend to some condo projects, Gulls Landing is currently the only single-family home project we have planned with Ryan Homes or any other builder.We are continuing engineering and planning on many other development properties we own within Sea Trail and will provide updates as progress is made. To clarify some rumors, all sidewalks, street trees, community entries, and everything within their confines are paid solely by Riptide. No STMA funds have been or will ever be used for these projects. Additionally, we funded the new sidewalks, irrigation, landscaping, and streetscape connecting Byrd Watch to the Pink Palace entirely, with no requirement or obligation. Although not mandated by the town, these improvements were undertaken by us to enhance the community now rather than waiting for municipal action.You will find further clarification of STMA median enhancements and stormwater repairs later in this correspondence.3. Riptide Builders Update and Clarification of EntitiesWe want to clarify the entities operating within Sea Trail and address several requests for this information.Riptide Builders Development, LLC owns Riptide Builders, LLC and Sunrise Corporate Development, LLC. Robert Hill and Donald Bean, who are also residents of Sunset Beach, own all of these entities. Sunrise Corporate Development, LLC is the declarant of Sea Trail, the company we acquired several years ago. It holds most of the remaining developable property in Sea Trail, including the declarant rights. Once again, Robert Hill and Donald Bean own and affiliate with these entities.The individuals and their entities own Sea Trail Golf Resort: Robert Hill, Donald Bean, Sandesh Sharda, and Parker Smith. These individuals partner in the operations and ownership of properties, including the three golf courses, clubhouses, convention center, future hotel site, and what is today known as the VAC. Riptide Builders owns the other developable projects and properties found in the Conditional Zoning approvals and maps.East Coast Golf Management is a company led by Mike Buccerone and Rob Moser, whom the ownership group has hired and partnered to manage the day-to-day operations within the resort properties and future commercial amenities. These entities work together daily and are constantly engaged to ensure seamless completion and operation of all projects. If you communicate with any of them, rest assured the information will reach the right people, as we function as a cohesive team.In the coming weeks, Sea Trail Realty and the short-term rental program within Sea Trail will integrate into the resort’s control and ownership. This integration will provide participating owners with benefits that no one else can offer, given our ownership and control positions within the resort and the experience we can provide guests as resort owners. We can offer the same level of service to long-term renters, buyers, and sellers. We are excited to integrate these services under the resort umbrella.More information will be forthcoming, but we are excited about our leadership teams and the fantastic staff we continue to add to execute daily operations. Many dedicated people are working towards common goals. Let’s work together and communicate effectively!4. Board Member UpdateI have witnessed and seen some cruel, slanderous, and libelous comments directed at various board members and posted on Facebook. This community is filled with some of the most committed, intelligent, and genuinely good people who invest countless hours of their time for free in these positions. Every decision the board makes is analyzed and, more often than not, overanalyzed to ensure it is the right decision. If we are unsure, we consult with the board attorney. Almost every time, the board unanimously agrees on all decisions made. The board is primarily comprised of full-time residents, and as I mentioned earlier, we are deeply invested in all parts of Sea Trail.It is disheartening to witness some cruel and ignorant statements made without any education or taking the time to communicate and be educated on the circumstances. Again, I am asking for this to stop. To clarify some rumors: the board and STMA only invest/spend money on properties it owns or is responsible for. The STMA is involved in the landscaping and uplighting of the entry medians. This is a fantastic project that, when complete, will be exceptional. The board leveraged and negotiated attractive pricing and contracts for this, and our landscape committee took part in what is taking place.The board is also involved in broken curb replacement and the painting of curbing, to which we will add reflective tape in areas at entries and high-traffic points. Riptide was able to secure great pricing on this. The products held up to being hit by tires, and we achieved a cohesive and attractive curb appearance without the mismatch of old and new patchwork.The STMA continues to make stormwater repairs within its permitted areas north of the Calabash Creek that service all residential developments. Riptide continues its efforts with renovations of both clubhouses, the addition of elevators, new entry signs, chapel grounds renovation, and the Pink Palace pool renovation. These efforts save the community hundreds of thousands of dollars by providing all required contracting licenses, oversight, and buying power at no cost to the community, without profit. This is documented and presented as in-kind contributions to the community every year.Your board deserves a thank you and a pat on the back. They are great people who work tirelessly for you and Sea Trail. If you have something negative to say to or about anyone, I request that you direct it to me and not to them. I’m easy to find, and here is my personal cell number: 910.209.4611. We will continue to fulfill our duties as board members and work to make Sea Trail the best place it can be, and we would appreciate your support. Proper communication goes a long way.I hope this update was helpful. There will be much more exciting communication to come. Thank you so much to the vast majority of amazing people here in Sea Trail. You all are why we do this and feel comfortable making these investments. We appreciate you all and will do our best to continue over-delivering on any expectations. Thank you!Warm regards,Robert Hill Member at Large, STMA Board of Directors Declarant, Owner/Member of Riptide Builders and Sea Trail Golf Resort

A Promise Kept – Introducing Sea Trail Golf Resort

We take great pride in announcing that it’s official—today, Sea Trail Investments–partnered by Riptide Builders owners, Robert Hill and Donald Bean, and Golf-Trek owner Parker Smith–closed on all remaining golf and commercial property formerly owned by Chinaway Corporation. In totality, with the March 2023 acquisition by Sea Trail Investments, we now collectively own the entire golf and commercial operations, Convention Center, VAC, and the adjacent 15-acre tract of land which will feature several key resort components, all of which will be anchored by Sea Trail Golf Resort’s future approved hotel site directly adjacent to the Convention Center.


As promised, we ‘ve created a team integral in taking Sea Trail Golf Resort to the next level. We are happy to announce that we have hired a professional leading golf management team, East Coast Golf Management, who contributes decades of proven success in golf, food and beverage, and retail operations. Mike Buccarone, President, and Rob Mosser, Executive VP lead this well-oiled machine which will spearhead all day-to-day operations for the golf courses, clubhouses, the newly renovated Convention Center and the VAC. East Coast Golf will ensure that Sea Trail Golf operations will transform and flourish, realizing the vision of our ownership team to provide members and guests top-notch courses, facilities, and supporting operations worthy of resort status.  We have provided East Coast Golf an operating budget that allows them to not only retain the current Sea Trail staff, but to a hire additional key personnel to guarantee the necessary outfitting of golf and commercial operations required to deliver results. This includes the purchase of new maintenance and operational equipment. Additionally, we have provided a multi-million-dollar capital improvement budget for massive improvements to the courses, clubhouses, and facilities. We are particularly excited to share that the Jones Byrd Clubhouse will straight away undergo a complete redesign and renovation that will provide our golf resort with one of the most premier—if not the premier—golf clubhouse establishment within the Carolinas encompassing top-ranking food, beverage, and other full-service golf amenities. Our ownership team is committed to accomplishing this major feat in record time, with a March completion date to ready us for this upcoming golf season. We will share further details this week on how members and visitors can continue to access golf operations and services during the transition and ensuing renovations.  While only temporary in nature, you can anticipate that these services will represent a significant step up from those you experienced prior to this transition.


We at Sea Trail Investments are thrilled to announce our new partner, Sandesh Sharda. Sea Trail Investments and Sharda have combined forces to form Sea Trail Golf Resort, LLC. Sharda has amassed an impressive golf portfolio recently with his purchase of Rivers Edge Golf Course in Shallotte and his pending closing on The International Club of Myrtle Beach. With this portfolio, he becomes a major factor and positive addition to the golf industry within the Carolinas. Sharda is an entrepreneur and philanthropist who founded Miracle Systems, a global technology and consulting firm. He built Miracle Systems from the ground up to a company of 500 strong, establishing it as a leader in delivering cutting-edge IT to businesses worldwide. Under his leadership, Miracle Systems further diversified into various sectors, most notably, cybersecurity, cloud computing, and data analytics which led to contracts with the US Department of Defense and other governmental agencies, where the technologies his company delivered were instrumental in contributing to homeland security. Sharda has successfully invested in and co-founded other ventures, ranging from fintech startups to sustainable energy initiatives, all of which reflect his commitment to pushing the boundaries of technology and sustainability. He is also the driving force behind The Sharda Family Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of underprivileged communities through education, healthcare, and social development initiatives.With the combined talents of our ownership team representing decades of success within their respective industries, a shared commitment to the short and long game required to bring a project of this magnitude to fruition, and the “boots-on-the ground” skilled day-to-day leadership of East Coast Golf,  all the pieces are in place to make Sea Trail Golf Resort a juggernaut of golf in the Carolinas.


As we focus our efforts on the transition, we understand that you will have questions. This announcement marks the first of many to come. While it was important for us as new owners to share the good news of the purchase with you as quickly as possible, we also want to be sure to take the time needed to be thoughtful, detailed, and comprehensive. To that end, we will continue to share additional communications that will outline timelines and key dates, and to convey information in a FAQ format that we feel will be the most accessible to the majority, the first of which we will release by the end of the week.


We cannot wait to welcome you to the newly renovated Convention Center! Shortly we will share how you can take advantage of the opportunity to come and tour so we can tell you what has happened so far, what we can all look forward to, and to elaborate on these plans.


This purchase marks a major milestone for us and the Sea Trail community. We are grateful for the support and enthusiasm you continue to express, and we recognize that without the support of the Town of Sunset Beach, its leadership and staff, the residents of Sea Trail, our teams behind-the team (Riptide Builders and Golf Trek), and countless others, we would not be where we are now—closing on the remainder of Sea Trail Golf Resort. A special thanks to Chinaway Corporation, who collaborated with us these past few years to create a path forward to the opportunity realized today. Our team remains committed to the town, to the community, and to putting Sea Trail Golf Resort on the map as a leading sought-after resort destination and a vibrant, amenity-rich community to call home!

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