SC Board Approves Upstate Resort “Mecca”

A $100 million resort “mecca” planned for Seneca, S.C. received approval from Gov. Nikki Haley and a majority of the S.C. Budget and Control Board (SCBCB) this week. The so-called Sanctuary Pointe project – which we wrote about extensively here – would bring 400-500 jobs to the area, according to…

lake hartwell

A $100 million resort “mecca” planned for Seneca, S.C. received approval from Gov. Nikki Haley and a majority of the S.C. Budget and Control Board (SCBCB) this week.

The so-called Sanctuary Pointe project – which we wrote about extensively here – would bring 400-500 jobs to the area, according to the investors who are pushing the development. It would also provide a steady revenue stream to the S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism (SCPRT) – which as you can tell from its title performs a trio of functions taxpayers have no business subsidizing.

Seriously …

So … why is this private development mixed up with state government? And why do its plans require the approval of South Carolina’s antiquated budget board? Well, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers leases the property it hopes to develop to the State of South Carolina free of charge – and state leaders want to use the proceeds from a sub-lease for the purpose of subsidizing our state’s parks system.

That’s right … state government is leasing property it doesn’t own to funnel money to things it shouldn’t be doing in the first place.

Typical South Carolina …

Anyway, as we stated last month we have no problem with this development moving forward (although we hope for the sake of the investors that water levels in Lake Hartwell climb above their current levels). Our problem is the state funneling money from the deal to non-core functions.

As far as we’re concerned, any money made by the state off of this development ought to be rebated to taxpayers … and we’re disappointed not a single member of the all-“Republican” SCBCB thought to make that a prerequisite of their support for the deal.


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Big Cock January 30, 2013 at 12:16 pm

What kind of resort is this in the photo? Looks good for 4 wheelin’ at best!

CNSYD January 30, 2013 at 1:34 pm

Your assumption is that there is a direct relationship between the photo and the exact locale of the project. Remember, this is Sic Willie presenting this.

ceilidh10 January 30, 2013 at 1:45 pm

It’s a shithole for flyover Canada geese

Zobro January 31, 2013 at 12:43 pm

Too bad

sc is on wrong path January 31, 2013 at 3:15 pm

That is a picture of Lake Hartwell which Seneca does not touch. Lake Keowee is a beautiful lake with clear water and not dramatic drops where docks lie in the mud and boats on their sides. Fits get your photos right when you post. Anyone from the upstate knows that is NOT Keowee!

Quack Quack January 30, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Things that come to mind:


desert wasteland

suckers born every day

2025 – drawn out trials – 80 year old guys doing 5 years and leaving the loot to the kids, never to be seen again. Losses in the hundreds of millions

Battles over the water drawn to keep it purty….Atlanta is thirsty.

Golf is on it’s deathbed…State is paying for the course maintenance….most people spend their time at the gun range.

Desert races in the bowl of dust formerly known as Lake Hartwell.

A prospectus written on rice paper.

Redneck 4wheeler heaven for the dozen years it is tied up in court.

If it gets built, the casino battle will follow, but it will not get done – none of it. Nuff said.

south mauldin January 30, 2013 at 12:55 pm

The only thing that would make this better is if Jim Anthony were involved in it.

Embalm me no January 30, 2013 at 12:22 pm

The name alone brings to mind a perpetual care burial complex.

huh? January 30, 2013 at 12:22 pm

Thrift brothers involved? Did they serve time?

Fred Bastiat January 30, 2013 at 12:48 pm

Again, Ms. Haley, the adulterous, vapid, pseudo-Christian liar, is NOT an economic conservative. If she is in favor of this, she does not even understand basic free market economics.

The LAST thing this state needs is ANOTHER state run resort to compete with the private sector. This sort of boondoggle does not “create” jobs, it actually destroys jobs. This is because the money needed to build and run this place has to come from the only place it can come from, that is, people with money. Money that the state takes away from people to redistribute to others does not “grow” the economy. It is like taking water out of one end of the pool and pouring in the other end, while spilling a little along the way.

Instead, enterprises like these compete with the private sector, which must make a profit to stay in business – unlike a state subsidized business, which can lose money with impunity. This also drives the price of resort services down, because it artifically creates supply that the free market is not demanding.

Republicans whine about “redistributionists,” then engage in the self same action, only redistributing it upward to cronies and hacks that feed off the government a/k/a taxpayers’ tits.

Even someone with tiny tits like Mrs. Haley, and a tiny brain to match, should get this.

Even if there wasn’t some corrupt angle to this, which is highly likely – think Whitewater in Arkansas – it is a BAD idea that should be VETOED by Gov. Haley, not endorsed.

Todd January 30, 2013 at 1:11 pm

Fred,you hit every nail on the head; well said.

? January 30, 2013 at 1:54 pm

I like your modern, jazzed up name Fred.


oh, good write up too

Confederateliberal January 30, 2013 at 3:23 pm

Loftis once again should his true colors. POS.

SparkleCity January 30, 2013 at 12:54 pm

So that’s why the Queen was at Table Rock a few weeks back……..

SparkleCity January 30, 2013 at 12:56 pm

Low lake levels????

Get used to it

Remember: Tuesday is Soylent Green Day!!!

Brought to you by the Soylent Corporation (a subsidary of ConAgra)

Smart Money January 30, 2013 at 1:07 pm

For the last ten to fifteen years, the players in the real estate business in the upstate have been selling their Hartwell homes and upgrading to Keowee.

This concentration of wealth on the upper lake – “above the damn” – is indicative of the future problems with Hartwell and the inevitable decline in property values there.

Whether the drinking water battles with Georgia, the presence of PCB’s in the fish and water, the drought driven decline in water levels or the simple abundance of second homes available to the ever-shrinking middle-class, Hartwell is a bad investment.

The smart money has moved upstream…where the water is and where market values have remained solid.

What this means for a mega-resort on Hartwell is unclear. What is likely is that this is another Carolina Holdings fiasco that will give some blue bloods a road rash to be remembered for generations.

ceilidh10 January 30, 2013 at 2:39 pm

I drive to Townville from Greenville on I-85 south frequently to carry my dogs to their handler, and Hartwell is a sorry ass mess. There is NO FUCKING WATER up there. It looks like a frying pan with a little gravy water in the middle. The edges are very very high. Someone screwed these people over big time. All those lakes do is collect poop droppings from migratory birds.

SparkleCity January 30, 2013 at 4:03 pm


Well, that’s because there’s not enough FUCKING RAIN.

I have to keep tabs on this kind of stuff and there has been a precipitation defict 4 out of the last 5 years in this region and I ain’t talking just an inch or two.

Couple that with the population groth in Georgia & the Carolinas (thus higher demand) and you begin to see the potential problem.

I will NEVER forget my hydrological professor saying that there would be a water shortage in the South within 30-40 years like the water poor west has experienced for so long and that was back in 1976-1977.

He was spot on…..

Remember: Tuesday is Soylent Green day (courtesy of the Soylent Corporation – a subsidary of ConAgra)

hhuuhh?? January 31, 2013 at 9:29 am

Sparkle City, in my neck of the Pee Dee, we have been in drought for most of the last 15+ years. We come out for a year or two and right back in. I read state climatologist Hope Mizzel’s reports on drought conditions and the upstate has frequently been in worse shape than us. Lake Marion and Moultrie have been feet below full for years.

This bunch of developers/investors must not read the papers and be totally ignorant that Lake Hartwell has been, probably, the hardest hit lake in the state for years…and, years.

Who are these “investors”?
If it’s the Beach Company, it will expect mucho, mucho local government subsidies. That’s what I’ve read about their dealings in Charleston and Clarendon counties.

CNSYD January 30, 2013 at 1:30 pm

Another opportunity for Sic Willie to tout his taxpayer rebate sans details. Why no details? Because he has none.

CNSYD January 30, 2013 at 1:32 pm

Smart Money,

If you do the math, you will find that you would have to eat a copious amount of fish per day from Hartwell for a year to even approach any PCB level that would matter.

smart money January 30, 2013 at 1:58 pm

according to?

CNSYD January 30, 2013 at 2:40 pm

An environmental engineer who lives in the area and studied the reports.

Soft Sigh from Hell January 30, 2013 at 5:08 pm

I don’t think I’d take human-diet toxicity advice from an engineer, environmental or not.

carl January 30, 2013 at 1:33 pm

why not dam the tyger river and produce another 60,000+ acre lake??…producing thousands of jobs, possibly and bringing in millions of dollahs in new construction as thousands of retirees flock to their new homes on the watah…no hurricanes or gators to worry about…besides, the economy of Union County could use a jolt…and we could start a “clean” hydroelectric plant and sell the energy to our neighbors…

Philip Branton January 30, 2013 at 1:55 pm

Karl…..maybe we could have a burger at Hardee’s and discuss “Jr.”…???

We wonder what landfills would be buried by this lake you describe…!?

I've Got Reservoirations January 31, 2013 at 1:03 pm


That is the dumbest idea I have ever heard. All the dam sites that make sense have been developed. This is a few local w and s folks trying to not have to depend on GWS. They will never get the permits.

Who is that gray headed yokal that is always talking about this? I can’t remember his name.

shifty henry January 30, 2013 at 1:35 pm

… Tuesday, Feb 5 is also—–DISASTER DAY

very good posts above, you folks are tagging this one on the hiny….

BradWarthenSucks January 30, 2013 at 1:39 pm

… and now you know why in 10 years I’m out of this shithole state. I’ve lived in several different states around the US and have not lived in one that’s even remotely close to being as fucked up as this state is.

dwb619 January 30, 2013 at 4:17 pm

Why wait ten years?

Anonymous January 30, 2013 at 1:44 pm

There are piss holes that are better than this.

Philip Branton January 30, 2013 at 1:51 pm

Hmmmm…….Sanctuary Pointe..?? We wonder if a certain pot of foreign Money is being anchored by “Dubai Ports” to do what..!? The “Sanctuary” at Kiawah has what same color of money involved..!?

Tisk, tisk……no google earth coordinates of the actual property to give a visual to the proximity of the airstrip..!? How about surrounding property owners from tax records..!?

FITSNEWS investors really want to know…? Readers want to make investment money too .!

Why would anyone staying at the Sanctuary on Kiawah want to know about the investment potential of Seneca…SC..!?

We wonder just how close the “Best Friend of Charleston” would come to the “mecca” if the rail lines from Southern were shared by CSX and Norfolk-Southern..??

Maybe Fitsnews could spray paint a box car for advertising..?!?

Infidel January 30, 2013 at 2:17 pm

As an Infidel, would I be allowed to visit the upstate “mecca”?

ceilidh10 January 30, 2013 at 2:35 pm

No way, Jose. The hadiths of the Koran say white male infidels who kiss woman’s pudendum must first kiss donkey’s ass before he can buy a lottery ticket to see Upstate mecca and then only if he is blindfolded and whipped into submission by the forces of the Goddess Nimrata.

shifty henry January 30, 2013 at 3:06 pm

….. okay —- he’s in!

shifty henry January 30, 2013 at 3:08 pm

;;;; what got him? — it’s the photo of Nikki with her boots! —- and I haven’t decided yet…………

katrina January 30, 2013 at 5:03 pm

Recent correspondence I received from SCPRT lawyer tries to conceal Parrish incompetent op management, disdains and disrespects substantive intent in SC law, public policy, and the agency’s fiduciary duty.

PRT grants funded construction of revenue generating asset on company’s unimproved land. I did FOIAs. Co Treasurer refused to disclose. SOS investigating. Asked Parrish why PRT disbursed funding in violation of PRT’s own documents, said entire agency’s fiscal oversight implicated. Ops management – if cant’ do a little, then can’t do any.

SECTION 30-4-100. FOIA Violation=negative presumption. CO has burden to prove public use of money. Burden codified in laws, first step to meet: disclosure so citizens see proof.

SCPRT has all docs of my investigation. Knows SOS doing one. Lawyer invented POSITIVE PRESUMPTION about hidden finances. Asserted as fact company proceeds are public because I didn’t prove misuse. Don’t have to. Unethical to misuse position and expertise to create burden against public policy, for citizen to prove hidden finances are misused. Abrogation of agency fiduciary duty to disclose to prove proper use of citizen money. Typical of most lawyers I’ve seen in SC.

I asked Gov tell me how we know other Executive Agencies aren’t ignoring law to hide mismanagement. How new laws from Commission full of consulting lawyers, enacted by legislators who don’t follow the ones we have, will stop lawyers like this one from thwart citizen authority by making stuff up.

Can’t wait for the answer.

shifty henry January 30, 2013 at 9:59 pm

….. this is most interesting to me, and I will follow your progress

Soft Sigh from Hell January 30, 2013 at 6:26 pm

As a water-resources engineer one told me about conflicts, “Water flows toward money.” Georgia is looking, and as importantly planning and working to the future; SC thinks there is a cheap (to us) political fix to everything (the legacy of Rivers and Thurmond, for example, though many others lower down). If push comes to shove, Atlanta WILL NOT go without adequate water so long as a drop is left it that lake. They might even welcome an emergency at some point to force their access. Major cities will not be sacrificed for waterfront views and recreation. Count on it if it ever comes to that.

shifty henry January 30, 2013 at 10:00 pm

…….. I’ll follow your progress – interesting and “mysterious”


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