By: Elaine Henson
Center Pier Part VI
Golden Sands Motel
The original Golden Sands Motel was located on two ocean front lots in the 1200 block of South Lake Park Boulevard, just north of the Center Pier. It was built the 1960s. This post card is from 1978 and shows the two story motel with office/living quarters on the left and an above ground pool on the right.
The back of the post card reveals details about the motel including that it was owned and operated by P. V. Medlin and Betty L. Hurt. Betty, a widow, later became Mrs. Medlin and was the first woman mayor of Kure Beach and the first mayor elected by the vote of the people instead of being elected by town council. Mayor Medlin served from 1993 to 2005. The Medlins sold the Golden Sands in 1981, and, then bought the Rolling Surf Motel across from the Kure Pier.
Betty Medlin died in January, 2007; in December of that year the Town of Kure Beach purchased the Rolling Surf property for $3.6 million. It became the site for the Kure Beach Ocean Park which opened in April, 2013.
In 1985, the new owners of the Golden Sands, going by Golden Sands Motel LLC, added a two story addition on the ocean front, built perpendicular to the street. It was up on pilings and had twelve units; they later added an owner’s quarters on one end. In 1995, they purchased the Center Pier which was just south of their motel. The pier was badly damaged the next year by back to back hurricanes Bertha and Fran and was closed. In 1997, they built the five story Golden Sands Motel building with an ocean front swimming pool in front of the pier. The next year they added the two story Ocean Grill building which opened in December of 1998. Soon after, the stub of Center Pier became the ever popular Tiki Bar.
Business was good enough that another building was planned. But first, they had to move the original Golden Sands across the street where the former Shoreline, Manning and Pier Inn motels had been. Part of that property was and still is used for parking. They later sold the newly relocated motel which was renamed the Sea Mist, and is now a condominium. The move made way for a new seven story Golden Sands with an indoor pool that was built in 2003.
The two Golden Sands buildings have a total of 113 rooms plus the Ocean Grill and the Tiki Bar, all popular vacation and year round destinations. It’s come a long way since the 60s!