June 2020

21 Faces of Lowcountry Hospitality: Kathy Winings

Author: Special to CH2 | Photographer: M.KAT Photography

Kathy Winings
Information Specialist, Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce

Kathy Winings has been in the hospitality industry for over 35 years. An island transplant from Indiana by way of Kentucky, Winings moved here with her husband to work at the Hyatt (now the Marriott Hilton Head Resort & Spa) in Palmetto Dunes. She’s worked in group sales and advertising with the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce before becoming an information specialist last year. The best part of her job is helping visitors discover Hilton Head Island. The day we visited Kathy at the Chamber, she singlehandedly took over 50 phone calls, fielding questions from future guests about our island.

How long have you worked at the Chamber of Commerce and what is your role there? 
Eighteen years. I’m the information specialist at the front desk, welcoming visitors and answering their questions.

What do you love about living in the Lowcountry?
The well-manicured natural beauty of the island and the mild change of seasons.

What are the top 3 questions our visitors ask, and what are your answers?

1. Where should we stay on the ocean? (I clarify hotels or homes & villas. Hotels: I tell them the differences between the hotel properties and let them decide. H&V: I refer them to our vacation rental companies.)

2. Can we ride bicycles there? Yes, of course! I tell them about our 60 miles of public pathways. 

3. Besides the beach, what is there for kids to do on HHI? (Clarify age of kids.)They’re often surprised by how much there is to do: biking, kayaking, paddle boarding, crabbing, fishing, horseback riding/petting zoo, Coastal Discovery Museum, Aerial Adventures/Zipline, The Sandbox, Harbour Town Lighthouse & Museum, playgrounds at public parks, miniature golf, and more.

One of the craziest questions I’ve ever had was actually this week. A woman wanted to know if we have an abundance of cobras here.

What is your favorite annual event or festival? 
We have so many, there’s something for everyone. I’m partial to the Historic Bluffton Arts & Seafood Festival.

When not at the Chamber, where can we find you and what are you doing?
In my backyard feeding the beautiful birds.

If you could advise our visitors to do just one thing while they are here, what would it be?
Go for a sunset sailboat cruise. We’re an island; visitors need to get out on the water!

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