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Working on fantasy island: a visit to Hilton Head.

A strong tee shot off the coast of South Carolina lies a bootshaped island whose allure draws visitors from around the world. Wide, white beaches stretch uninterrupted for miles. Narrow fairways and luxuriant greens challenge the best golfers. Bike trails meander through stands of ancient oaks, boughs draped with Spanish moss, passing a swimming pool on this curve, a tennis court on that. Lingering over the island like a sweet cloud, a wisp of confederate jasmine perfumes the air. At the southern end of the island, in Harbour Town, the fragrance hangs so heavily it intoxicates. Or perhaps it's the ring of million-dollar yachts encircling the harbor that sets heads spinning. Welcome to Hilton Head Island and Sea Pines Plantation.

Cross the causeway that separates the mainland from Hilton Head and step onto Fantasy Island. No work, just play-for the vacationer. That's the business of resorts. Behind the scenes there are plenty of people working to make sure you enjoy yourself. This article looks at some of the jobs they do. Our visit, however, offers but one variation on a theme. If you prefer the slopes outside Aspen to the beaches on Hilton Head, you'll likely find workers in similar occupations who aim to provide the same thing-service. They just wear more clothes.

A Little History

Hilton Head has attracted visitors since the explorers first made landfall in the Americas. In the early 1500's, the Spanish, sailing north from Florida, anchored in Port Royal Sound. Gaspard de Coligny, Admiral of France, established a base on the island in 1562, garrisoning it with a small band of men. They didn't stay long. Using island timber, the sailors built the first transatlantic ship constructed in the Americas, caulked it with pine resin and Spanish moss, and returned to France. A hundred years later, William Hilton, an English sea captain who lent the island his name, surveyed it for the sugar kings of the West Indies. Islanders say they suffered another foreign invasion in the middle of the last century. Yankees landed on Hilton Head in 1861, occupying it for the duration of the Civil War.

Through the centuries, little changed on Hilton Head until about 30 years ago. Then, Charles Fraser saw something others didn't. Where skeptics spied salt marshes, scrub pines, and swarms of mosquitoes as big as bombers, Fraser envisioned a world-class resort. In 1957, on 5,200 acres at the southern end of the island, work began on Sea Pines Plantation. Other developments followed. But today, on an island of resorts, Sea Pines glistens as the jewel in the crown.

"Don't be fooled by the glamour," says Tom Norby, manager of community services for Sea Pines. "From the outside looking in, the resort business looks like a world of leisure. But if you're on the inside working to make sure that those here to enjoy it are happy, you're working hard."

Out on the Links

Before the first gull dives for breakfast in the surf off the 15th hole of the Ocean Course, Rick Wideman's day has begun. He's the superintendent of both the Ocean and Sea Marsh golf courses, two of the four on Sea Pines Plantation.

By 5:30 a.m., his crews have started mowing fairways, moving pins, and raking bunkers. Wideman wants the work well underway before the first foursome tees off at 7. The courses have enough hazards, especially the lagoons loaded with alligators; golfers don't need to dodge lawn mowers as well. When they pay as much as $100 a round (18 holes), they don't want to.

Rick has been a course superintendent at Sea Pines for 2 years. Before that, he worked as an assistant superintendent at Palmetto Dunes, another resort on the island. Typically, an assistant works for at least 2 years under an experienced superintendent before moving to the top j ob. But while experience may be the best teacher, the profession now looks toward the classroom to provide some essential skills. Wideman has an associate's degree in agronomy and turf management. He wouldn't be sitting in the superintendent's seat without it.

" Earlier, most people in the field simply had an agricultural background. I do, too," he says. "But the golf business is booming and, consequently, changing as well. You need special training," says Wideman. His coursework included studies in agronomy, botany, chemistry, and entomology. Part of the instruction focused on the application of chemicals, such as fertilizers, herbicides, and insecticides. "You have to be certified and licensed by the State to apply them," he says.

For 9 months of the year, February through October, Wideman generally works a 12-hour day. He has to keep pace with the punishment the courses receive. Last year, play on both courses totaled nearly 100,000 rounds. Generously assume that the average golfer shoots 90; that means the turf takes 9 million strokes a year. Insects and weather exact a toll, too. "We're working against both nature and the golfers," says Wideman. "I'm learning to hate golfers," he jokes.

Whether it's mole crickets burrowing from below or divot-digging duffers attacking from above, each day presents new challenges. Every morning, he cruises the courses, hole by hole. If his tours reveal problems, his staff will work to solve them that afternoon. As superintendent, he manages 18 workers, a fleet of special equipment, and a large budget.

Special projects occupy his attention in the off season. This winter, the Sea Marsh course will be closed for major renovations. "We're redesigning three greens and reshelfing the bunkers," says Wideman. Contractors will do much of the work "but I'll be right beside em all the while."

John Farrell, the head golf pro at both Ocean and Sea Marsh, will be there, too. He and Wideman consult regularly about course conditions. While Wideman contends with Mother Nature, Farrell handles human nature. He has to answer the golfers' questions or complaints about the courses. If conditions aren't just right, he hears about it. Fast. "You have to remember that golf is a service business," he says. "We have to keep the players happy."

Farrell grew up gripping a club. He says, "I knew that I wanted to be in the golf business since I was a sophomore in college." When he graduated in 1984, he moved to the island to begin his career.

Different paths exist for those who aspire to a career in professional golf. Many try to make it in the tournament players' ranks, but fewer than 400 golfers play regularly on the pro tour. The majority aim to be head professionals at public or private courses or at resorts, such as Hilton Head. For these positions, you must be ranked by the Professional Golfers' Association PGA) as a Class A-1 pro. A range of other certifications exists, but this credential is preeminent.

The PGA reports that slightly more than 6,000 of its 11,300 members rate as Class A-1 pros. To earn that credential, a golfer must complete an apprenticeship under the direction of a Class A-1 PGA member. The program is designed to develop the skills you'll need on the course and in the clubhouse. It includes two PGA-sponsored business schools, a series of examinations, and player ability tests. Throughout the process, an apprentice earns credits that count towards a PGA card.

On Hilton Head, no one begins as an apprentice; you have to pay your dues. Here, "everybody starts outside as a cart attendant," says Farrell. "It's not glamorous, but it tunes you in to the needs of the players." The attendants greet the golfers, take care of their clubs, wash the carts, and run the driving ranges. At other courses and clubs around the country, a college graduate might start in the pro shop while high school students run the carts. "But it's not an undesirable job," Farrell says. "You work a straight 40-hour week and get plenty of free playing time on some of the best courses in America."

There is no guarantee an attendant will achieve an apprenticeship. The PGA only allows two apprenticeships per nine holes, "so I only have eight spots to offer," says Farrell. Farrell's assistant pros teach clinics, organize tournaments, and work in the pro shop to learn the retail end of the business. And the business of golf is changing.

"Today, the golf business is much more diversified," says Cary Corbitt, who, as the Director of Sports and Retail Operations for Sea

Pines, is Farrell's boss. "Club pros used to run their courses and have a small retail outlet on the side. Now it's a very bottom-lineoriented business. Golf courses are profit centers. In many cases, they're the backbone of resort operations."

The pro shop provides a large portion of the profits. The company employs a buyer who chooses the clothes and accessories that line the shelves of the plantation's golf and tennis shops. Farrell selects the clubs, bags, balls, and other equipment. Although he submits daily reports to the company administrators, in essence he's a small businessman. "I control the operating budget," he says, and as the head pro, he earns a percentage of the pro shop sales.

In addition to his other responsibilities, Farrell teaches some clinics and gives private lessons. However, a head teaching pro directs most of the instruction on the plantation, which includes a range of clinics, drills, and exercises, including a video analysis of a player's game.

Farrell's assistants play an active role. "It's important that they learn all aspects of the profession," says Farrell. And to be teachers, they must be good players. "You have to have practice time if you want to be a pro. If my assistants feel that they're not getting enough play, I'll make sure they get the time. It's part of my job to see they develop as pros."

Tennis Anyone?

If tennis is your game, hop on your bike and cycle down to the Sea Pines Racquet Club. If you're looking for a game, Bunny Williams can arrange it. Do you want to work on your groundstrokes? Williams will find you a spot in that morning's clinic. How about some advice on treating that nagging calf injury? She'll have some answers for you or direct you to someone who does. As the Director of Tennis at Sea Pines and racquet club manager, service is her objective. "Our aim is to give the resort guests their finest vacation ever," she says.

She uses the plural because as the plantation's tennis director she supervises a staff that shares her goal. Operations at the club -resemble those at the plantation golf courses-a strong corps of teaching pros handles instruction; a retail staff runs the pro shop; and a maintenance crew keeps the 29 courts at the racquet club in match condition.

Williams arrived on Hilton Head in 1979, after a career as a college physical education instructor. She became tennis director on the plantation in 1988. The teacher still shows through as she speaks of the variety of clinics and programs the club offers and of her aim to help her staff develop to their potential. "I think it's my job to nurture the staff, to be a cheerleader, and to do whatever needs to be done for the client to be successful."

The instructional staff at the club includes the head pro and seven teaching pros, who are paid strictly on commission. All of the pros are certified by either the U.S. Professional Tennis Association or the U.S. Professional Tennis Registry, and all have teaching experience. "When people pay the kind of money they do to come to Sea Pines, we want to assure that they get their money's worth," says Williams. Tykes, Bikes, and Pools Kids of all ages play on the courts at the racquet club. Instruction is available for players as young as 4 years old, and during the summer season, Sea Pines offers a more varied recreational program for youngsters. This year Mike Weber coordinates the program. He also manages the plantation's bike shops, swimming pools, and intern program.

Energy and enthusiasm can carry you a long way in the resort industry. "High turnover is characteristic of resorts," says Monika Church, personnel manager for Sea Pines. "Many people want to work at a resort-but not too hard. They don't want to work the long hours you have to during the season. Or they may not recognize that the basis of the business is service." Another factor, says Church, is that "in some places, it's not very structured." The rungs on the career ladder are not clearly marked. But," he adds, "if you display some professionalism and initiative, there are good promotional opportunities."

Weber's experience attests to that. He earned his bachelor's degree in commercial recreation, "an offshoot of the hotel/resort management curriculums offered at a number of schools," he says, and came to Sea Pines as an intern in the spring of 1989. After working in several positions through the summer, he was offered a full-time job by season's end.

This year he's been learning how to manage money, supplies, and personnel. He hired the lifeguards to staff the plantation's pools and, as bike shop manager, he supervises a crew of mechanics and cashiers. He also manages his own budget, some of which he used to buy new bicycles to add to an inventory of nearly 700. "I shopped around this year. I could have gotten some good bikes for $90. But rust is a problem in the salt air, so I decided to spend $120 for ones that have good alloy parts."

A new challenge for the summer is running the Fun For Kids program, a recreational program for children ages 4 to 12. The director left unexpectedly and Weber filled the breach. He'll staff the program with some of the interns who'll be working on the plantation for the season.

Eight of them are on Sea Pines this summer. They'll each receive a stipend plus housing. The real payoff is in experience. Weber has prepared a program that will give them a varied look at resort operations. "I want it to be a good learning experience for them," he says.

Getting Heads in the Beds

Long before plantation guests catch their first scent of confederate jasmine, they've likely been tantalized by glimpses of what awaits them. One call to the Sea Pines "800" number brings a teasing array of promotional pamphlets that highlight the resort's attractions. The aim, says Bob Hawkins, manager of Lodging Services, is "to get heads in the beds. And once they're here, the objective is to keep them coming back."

What's unusual about Sea Pines is that the plantation owns none of the beds it's anxious to get heads into. The company manages more than 500 privately owned villas" (condos) or houses. "We have all the functions of a hotel, but it's more complex," says Hawkins. "We're not sending our guests up to their room on the 10th floor. We send them out onto the 5,200 acres of the plantation."

Operations in Lodging Services rest upon three legs: the Welcome Center; Housekeeping; and Owner Services.

The Welcome Center focuses on sales and marketing. Competition characterizes the resort business, and the number of competitors is growing. The plantation can't rely upon reputation alone to attract guests. "We do a lot of direct mail and "800" selling," says Linda Willis, manager of the center.

During the peak of the season, about 40 employees work full time at the Welcome Center. "We prepare our marketing brochures, and handle reservations, the front desk, concierge, bell stand, transportation, and telephone system," says Willis.

By winter's end, the phones are ringing steadily. The plantation receives nearly 3,000 calls per week from prospective vacationers. Operators channel the calls to a team of seven reservations agents. Two of the agents specialize in group sales and special golf and tennis packages. The remainder handle family calls.

About 20 percent of reservations come from group sales or conventions. Says Bob Hawkins, "These are the high-ticket corporate groups. They pay top dollar and demand good service." Thirty percent of business comes from the sale of golf and tennis packages, and about 50 percent comes from families. "They don't ask a lot," says Hawkins. "But when they do want individual attention, we're there to give it to them."

Willis says that "we're always seeking new ways to increase business." One experiment tapped the sales skills of the reservations agents and paid off for everyone. Dissatisfied with returns on some of its advertising dollars, the company decided to use the money as sales incentives for the staff. "We offered our agents an additional 50 cents per night booked on the reservations. The more they booked, the more they made. Some of them made a nice amount of money," she says.

Though the reservations agents handle most of the bookings, the rest of the staff is trained in the reservations process, particularly the front desk staff. They need to know rate structures, the properties that are available, and the amenities they offer.

On the plantation, and in most other hotels, the front desk is a career position and an important one. In many instances, the front desk employee represents the first contact a guest has with the plantation. "We want that impression to be positive," Willis says. "The one-time guest is not going to sustain a resort. We want that guest to return." On Sea Pines the front desk manager is supported by two assistant managers and a host of desk clerks.

A few steps away from the front desk, you'll find the bell stand. At other hotels and resorts, bellhops attend to guests' needs from the front desk to their room. At Sea Pines, visitors don't ride the elevator to their room. They jump back into their car and drive into the plantation to reach their island retreat. Says Willis, "Bellhops are troubleshooters. They have to know the particulars of the different properties we manage." If the TV in one property doesn't work, they'll cruise over to check it out. If the air-conditioning isn't working in another, they'll do their best to fix it. "We want to check everything before we contract for outside help," says Willis. "We try to minimize the owners' expenses."

Sometimes these efforts entail more than a bellhop's visit. In the autumn of 1989, the whole island anxiously awaited another visitorHurricane Hugo. Forecasts placed Hilton Head directly in the path of storm. In the hurried hours before a State-ordered evacuation, lodging service workers scurried through the plantation boarding up properties and taping windows. Had the storm kept to its original path, the island could have been devastated; but it veered northward, roaring into Charleston, about 120 miles up the coast.

Tempests do strike the plantation now and then. They come not only as wind and rain, but in the guise of guests with little regard for their hosts' homes. "Sometimes the houses and villas really get trashed," says Louis Skepkowski, the plantation's executive housekeeper. As a retired Marine NCO with a career's worth of spit and polish, Ski, as he's known around the plantation, gets them gleaming again.

"We work seven days a week, 365 days a year," says Ski, who supervises a full-time staff of 43, which includes an assistant housekeeper and eight supervisors. In the summertime, when occupancy rates run at nearly 100 percent, he augments his staff with five additional workers. All of the staff, including Ski, live off the island, commuting to Hilton Head each day from the host of small communities that dot the South Carolina low country.

Working in teams of two, each duo cleans seven villas or homes a day, cruising from one property to another in a fully equipped van. There are no single rooms on the plantation; some of the homes have as many as five bedrooms and multiple baths, living and dining rooms, and a kitchen. "This is tougher than hotel work," says Ski.

Sea Pines-More Than a Resort

Vacationers enjoy Sea Pines' pleasures for a week or so, but more than 3,000 people call the plantation home. The 670 property owners call it something else-theirs. The plantation is, in effect, a private community managed by the Sea Pines Plantation Co. If you want to get the potholes fixed in your town, you can raise a ruckus with city hall. If Sea Pines residents have complaints, they knock on Tom Norby's door. He's the manager of community services on the plantation.

In a way, Norby's an anomaly in the resort business. In an industry that's characterized by quick turnover, he's worked on the plantation for more than 25 years. Professionally, he's grown up here, working in nearly every job, from greenskeeping to resort management. His experiences, learning the business literally from the ground up, work to his advantage when he recruits new employees for the company. "If you want to build an organization that is stable and has real depth, then the recruiting process is very important," Norby says. He acknowledges, however, that the nature of the resort industry sometimes works against these objectives.

"In our business we have a fixed number of full-time jobs. When I speak to college students, I'm up front with them about that," says Norby, believing that those who are interested will work hard to earn these spots. And there are prospects for advancement. "Don't go into it with tunnel vision. Look to the left and the right, and you'll see how everything is connected. And don't forget that the bottom line is service."

In his present job, Norby serves almost as a town manager or administrator. "Basically, I'm in charge of all general services on the plantation," he says. These services include road, bike trail, and beach maintenance; aquatic management of the plantation lagoons and drainage systems; landscaping; mosquito and pest control; purchasing and warehousing; and security.

The scope of these responsibilities means that he also supervises one of the largest contingents of employees in the company. About 140 employees, from computer operations specialists to horticulturists to plantation security officers, work under his general direction. Norby also oversees the resort's rolling stock of nearly 400 pieces of equipment and the operation of two maintenance garages. In his quarter century with the company, Norby has witnessed Sea Pines' development. Today, says Norby, "the plantation is about 90 percent built out, with nearly 5,900 residential properties and 105 acres of commercial development." Another 30 acres are destined for commercial development; the remainder will be devoted to residences, primarily single-family homes.

Norby has a line of managers working with him who specialize in certain operations. For example, day-to-day management of community services is John Ehlers' job. "We're kind of the city hall for the plantation," says Ehlers.

About 40 employees work with Ehlers. His staff cares for most of the beaches, dunes, and public lands on the plantation. Their duties include maintenance of the plantation's 600-acre forest and wildlife preserve; upkeep of 104 miles of road and 15 miles of bike trails; landscaping and grasscutting; oversight and care of the lagoons and drainage systems; and mosquito and pest control.

Strict environmental regulations govern much of the work done on the plantation. Although a specific part of the plantation is called a wildlife preserve, actually all of Hilton Head and the other sea islands off the South Carolina and Georgia coasts fall under that designation. While tens of thousands of guests pay premium prices for an island sojourn, hundreds of thousands of others enjoy Hilton Head hospitality free of charge. Flocks of American avocets, blacknecked stilts, and brown pelicans touch down for an island respite. Situated along the Atlantic Flyway, Hilton Head plays host to these species and many others during their semiannual migrations. As manager of community services, Ehlers could be called their island innkeeper.

The beaches, dunes, and tidal areas on the plantation teem with other plant and animal life that merit conservation. Every year, hundreds of sea turtles deposit their eggs in the dunes that border the beach. Community services crews mark the nests for their protection. Spartina grass and sea oats are protected species, too. Here, Ehlers coordinates his conservation efforts with the South Carolina Coastal Commission.

Much like the dimples on a golf ball, hundreds of lagoons dot the plantation. Some occur naturally; others are artificial. They serve a variety of purposes. "Obviously, they enhance the aesthetics of the plantation," says Ehlers. "But they also act as storm retention reservoirs and are crucial to our mosquito and pest control programs."

One of the initial problems the developers of the resort encountered was mosquitoes. Clouds of insects infested the island. "That was one of the first real challenges to developing Hilton Head," says Tom Norby. And it remains a challenge. You can't eradicate them, but you can control them." A combined program of spraying and aquatic treatments of the lagoons helps regulate them.

South Carolina requires that people who work with pesticides and other chemicals be certified and licensed. Workers who treat lagoons must hold special aquatic licenses, "which can only be obtained by passing a very strict State-administered exam," says Ehlers. License holders are also required to receive additional training each year.

Aside from treatment for mosquito control, Ehlers's crews work to contain the growth of vegetation in the lagoons. Plant growth inhibits drainage. Says Ehlers, "The latest breakthrough in aquatic management is the use of carp," a freshwater fish that eats the plants on the bottom of the lagoons, then grazes along the banks. Before their introduction, crews needed to drain the lagoons for cleaning. Using fish saves effort, time, and money. With a steady diet, the carp can reach up to 40 pounds and live to be 10 years old," says Ehlers. "That is, if they're not bitten by a snake or eaten by an alligator before then."

Alligators are another of the resort's attractions. They abound in the lagoons that line the plantation's golf courses. "Normally, they don't present any problems," says Ehlers, who acknowledges nonetheless that a few pets are lost each year to the reptiles. "When they reach 6 feet we have to remove them. But that's usually a job for the wildlife officer."

Sending Alligators up the River

Apprehending oversized alligators falls under the jurisdiction of the Sea Pines Security Force. Alligators hibernate through the winter," says Chief Phil Phillips. "When they wake up, they can be pretty hungry."

A few weeks earlier, Phillips had received a call from a concerned property owner. An insistent banging near his front door had awakened the caller at daybreak. He opened the door to find an 8-foot alligator sharpening his teeth on a drain dropout a few feet away. The force's wildlife officer removed the reptile. "We capture and relocate about 15 'gators a year," says the chief.

Although it is a private force, Sea Pines Security is licensed by the State and granted arrest and detention powers. Forty-three full-time officers make up the force, augmented by an additional five officers during the summer months. About a third have previous police experience; half have military experience. Chief Phillips is a retired Marine Corps officer.

Prospective officers receive 90 days of on-the-job training before becoming eligible for permanent appointment. Phillips believes firmly in-training, which continues throughout an officer's tenure. His officers participate in programs offered by State and local authorities and travel far afield when they need special training. Every April, crowds converge on the plantation as Sea Pines hosts two major sports events-the MCI Heritage Classic, a PGA tour highlight, and the Family Circle Magazine Cup, a women's pro tennis stop. During this year's spring extravaganza, Phillips and his officers, supplemented by a force of 50 private guards, worked 21 straight days. Handling the influx of automobiles that turned the normally quiet plantation roads into a parking lot was no easy task. Phillips planned ahead and dispatched several of his officers for special training at a traffic control school offered by the University of North Florida.

Hard crime is rarely a problem at Sea Pines. "We haven't had an armed robbery on the plantation in 5 years," says Phillips, who says that petty thefts do occur. "Every now and then we catch teenagers sneaking into swimming pools and hot tubs," he says smilingly. "Essentially, our role is to respond to the needs of the property owners and the guests," says Phillips. In this sense, he says, "we offer more public assistance than law enforcement." Despite this difference, however, Phillips asserts that "our officers are as qualified as any police officer in the coverage of accidents, traffic control, and emergency medical service."

Flowers, Flowers Everywhere

Sea Pines blossoms in April, when thousands descend on the plantation for the Heritage and the Family Circle tournaments. During those weeks some may argue which is the more breathtaking-the talents of some of the world's best athletes or the sea of azaleas, caladiums, chrysanthemums, and geraniums that appears literally overnight. Those who opt for nature's array can thank Gale Smyley and his green thumb for their pleasure.

Smyley's roots on the plantation run deeper than many of the plants he tends. He started here as an intern in 1972 after earning his associate's degree in ornamental horticulture. Now, as the Director of Horticulture on Sea Pines, Smyley supervises all the landscape design on the plantation.

The master plan for the plantation stretches along one wall in his office. Beneath it is Smyley's drafting table; drafting was part of the curriculum in his horticultural studies. His planning for each season begins here. His desk, scattered with a collection of flower and plant catalogs, is within easy reach. About 95 percent of the plants he uses are native to the Southeast. He experiments with different varieties each year, "but not too much. Our visitors come from around the world, and we want it to be just right."

For Heritage week, it was more than just right; it was dazzling. The evening before the pros teed up, Smyley and his staff lined the 14th hole of the Harbour Town Links with 625 azaleas, stretching from tee to green. When the crowds converged on the course the next morning, they discovered broad borders of reds, whites, purples, and pinks all along the fairway. What made the feat more stunning yet was that by tournament time the azalea season had already passed. Nurseries had kept the plants refrigerated until the festivities began.

Most of his plants come from commercial nurseries. "Generally, we don't propagate our own, though we do some grafting and other procedures," says Smyley. It's principally a question of time. Just as the other plantation employees do, Smyley and his crews enjoy some quiet moments in the winter months. "But come March 1st, we go like gangbusters. It's like going from 10 to 150 miles an hour."

Smyley oversees the ornamental landscaping on all the public sections of the plantation, at the plantation gates, the golf courses, the racquet club, and in Harbour Town. "Every gardener knows that nurturing plants is not simply a matter of putting them in the ground and watering them," he says. "You have to cultivate them. They must be fertilized, mulched, and pruned."

His duties leave him little time to experiment in the greenhouse. Besides, "the field is constantly evolving with new hybrids, chemicals, and fertilizers. I have to rely upon the nurseries."

He also relies heavily on his staff. Three landscape leaders each head 3-person teams. Though he would like to supplement his staff with students or interns, conflicting schedules prevent it. "The season begins in March for us. Students are still in school when I need them the most."

As in the other departments on the plantation, Smyley manages money as well as people, which means he has to keep a close eye on the bottom line and save where he can. He's considering the purchase of a new underground irrigation system that would use up to 40 percent less water than the present one. He's also experimenting with the use of "reclaimed" water. Again, cost is the driving factor. "Reclaimed water costs only 15 cents per 100 gallons as opposed to 50 cents for fresh water."

From Smyley's perspective, prospects look good for persons with his training and interests. He says that on the East Coast alone, more than 100 new golf courses are due to open, and the interest in gardening and horticulture has never been higher. If you're interested in ornamental horticulture, look to resorts. To see the best, "you have to visit Kiawah Island near Charleston or St. Simon's Island in Georgia, or Boca Raton or Disney World in Florida," he says. He didn't mention Hilton Head. He's too modest.
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Title Annotation:includes related information on the Sea Pines Plantation work force, and resort jobs; Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Author:Stanton, Michael
Publication:Occupational Outlook Quarterly
Date:Dec 22, 1990
Words:5466
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