Myrtle Beach’s Ocean Boulevard sees growth amid high demand from tourists

Southeast Region

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Many hotels along the Grand Strand spent a lot of this past summer booked up.

And after such a big summer season, the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce says it’s a good time for the hospitality industry to invest.

“Given what a good year it’s been, invest in two things,” President & CEO of Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce Karen Riordan said. “People, to make sure we have the staff to give great customer service to our visitors. But also product. So they may not be in a situation where they can build a brand new hotel like some folks are, but they can renovate their product and be constantly renovating it, so it’s fresh.”

Crews are building a 25 story dual-branded Marriott tower at the corner of 21st Avenue North and Ocean Boulevard that should be done next year.

“Full restaurant and a courtyard,” President of Strand Hospitality John Pharr said, who’s involved in the project. “You’ll have an outdoor pool. Pool bar, pool activities. So it’s really going to be a full service resort.”

Developers want to build two other hotels toward the south side of the Boulevard. Meanwhile, crews are building a parking garage for the Westgate Resort, near 3rd Avenue South.

“When we have this kind of demand, you just need new product to be fulfilling that demand,” Riordan said. “So we think it’s really exciting. Customers are always looking for new product.”

Riordan added that even after summer, Myrtle Beach is still seeing strong fall tourism numbers as the Grand Strand becomes a more year-round destination.

“That really is the plan,” Riordan said. “There’s a really important business reason for that. That allows us to have really stable workforce. That allows us to have an economy that’s year-round.”

Data for the most recent week available shows hotels in the area nearly 60% full. One group of friends prefers to visit when it’s not as busy.

“They don’t make you stop at every red light and sit through two red lights before you get through,” Vivian Williams said, who is visiting from Spartanburg.

The Chamber said the many weekend festivals and events are benefiting both locals and helping to keep tourism numbers up.

Count on News13 for updates on the construction downtown.

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