(TYBEE ISLAND, GA) Ocean Plaza Resort owner writing book on Hotel Tybee

(TYBEE ISLAND, GA) Ocean Plaza Beach Resort owner Harry Spirides is seeking old
photographs and stories of the legendary Hotel Tybee which once stood at the same location
that his resort occupies today. Originally built 123 years ago in 1887 the Hotel Tybee was
acclaimed as the “Finest resort between Atlantic City and Miami on the Atlantic Coast.” It was
demolished by its previous owners in 1960. For the purpose of publishing a book to document
the long and colorful history of the Hotel Tybee for future generations to enjoy, Spirides is
asking the public to search for old photographs and stories featuring the Hotel Tybee. Spirides
has pledged to donate all profits from the sale of his book to the ongoing restoration of historic
Fort Screven’s “Tybee Post Theater” located on the north end of Tybee Island.

In its day the Hotel Tybee set the standard for resorts in the United States and featured a
lavishly appointed dining room, a saloon, a dancing and group meeting pavilion, elevators, and
an electricity generation plant to provide electric lighting to every room. It even had its own
artesian waterworks which provided fresh water throughout the property. That hotel survived
hurricanes, world wars, and the Great Depression. It was the center of activity during Tybee
Island’s Golden Age in the roaring 1920s. It was originally built by an affiliate of the Central
of Georgia Railway Company. The original Hotel Tybee, built featuring a coastal Victorian
architecture, burned down in 1909. The second rendition of Hotel Tybee, built in a majestic
Mediterranean Revival architecture opened on the same site in 1911.

To commemorate the rich history of the legendary Hotel Tybee Harry Spirides recently decided
to begin conducting extensive historical research and writing a book. To produce the most
accurate historical record possible Spirides is asking everyone to speak with their family and
friends about this project and to search their old photo albums, storage closets, and attics for
photos and other memorabilia of the old Hotel Tybee to be contributed and featured in his
book. He is also interested in hearing from past Hotel Tybee visitors and guests to document
memorable events which took place at the old Hotel Tybee. All selected contributors will receive
credit in the book along with free copies of the completed book. When asked why he is writing
this book Spirides replies, “I want to document the history of this grand old hotel before this
information is lost forever, plus I think it could be an effective way to raise money for a good

For those interested in contributing to the Hotel Tybee book research project, scanned
Hotel Tybee photos and typewritten Hotel Tybee stories may be submitted by email to
hoteltybeebook@oceanplaza.com. Those without email may contact Harry Spirides by calling
(912) 786-7777 or sending items to the address listed below.

Items may be submitted via U.S. mail by sending them to:

Harry Spirides
Attn: Hotel Tybee Book Project
P.O. Box 2449
Tybee Island, GA 31328-2449

History runs deep on Tybee Island, where local museums, monuments, and historical sites detail
the island’s history dating back to 1520 when the Spanish explorer Francisco Fordillo discovered
the island and claimed it as part of Florida.

The Spirides Family has operated landmark businesses in Tybee Island’s downtown commercial
district for the past 65 years since 1945. Some of these businesses include the legendary Tybrisa
Pier and Pavilion, the Hotel Tybee, the world’s first Days Inn, Ocean Terrace Cottages, the
Sands Motel, the Veranda Motel & Restaurant, and the modern day Ocean Plaza Beach Resort
and Dolphin Reef Oceanfront Restaurant & Sports Bar. The Spirides family has owned the
Ocean Plaza Resort property for the past 44 years. Harry Spirides as a child literally grew
up at the Ocean Plaza Beach Resort, and he has worked there for the past 30 years. Spirides’
most notable accomplishment at Ocean Plaza thus far has been the design, construction, and
opening ten years ago of the multi-million dollar Dolphin Reef Oceanfront Restaurant and

Sports Bar. Spirides’ goal for the Ocean Plaza is an ambitious renovation and expansion of the
resort property in an attempt to make it look similar to the second Hotel Tybee with its majestic
Mediterranean Revival architecture. In this project he would also like to include building a
modern convention center and a multi-level parking garage, both of which he says the island’s
downtown commercial district greatly needs in order to accommodate existing demand and to
remain competitive with other resort destinations.

Whether it’s for weddings, reunions, business and association meetings, or vacations, the
Ocean Plaza Beach Resort, with that location’s 123 years of serving southern hospitality, can
accommodate any guest or group. The Ocean Plaza’s award winning restaurant, the Dolphin
Reef Oceanfront Restaurant and Sports Bar, offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It also features
an all you can eat seafood buffet every Friday and Saturday night. The resort is located
oceanfront at 15th Street on Tybee Island, 20 minutes east of historic downtown Savannah on
U.S. Highway 80. For more information on the Ocean Plaza Beach Resort, please call (912)
786-7777 or visit their website at www.oceanplaza.com .

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