The official ribbon-cutting for the Myrtle Beach boardwalk kicked off what area merchants hope will be a productive summer, in spite of the national recession. The project, which cost less than expected at $6 million, stretches from the 2nd Avenue pier to the 14th Avenue pier, allowing storefront —and beachfront–access for 1.2 miles.
Local merchants are banking on that easy access to draw many more shoppers. “I need it to pick up,” says Sun and Sand Beachware shop owner Bill Connell, ” I’ve sunk enough money into this already.”
Tourist season was kicked off with a beach music festival in an open greenspace right on the boardwalk, along with a biker week event and a more upscale “Coastal Uncorked” food and wine festival.
A state-sponsored study of tourism on the Grand Strand has offered plans to help boost tourism up to 10 percent a year. It’s success relies on accessibility,sustainability and local investment, some areas that Myrtle Beach officials focused on when they redeveloped this area, the state’s top tourism destination.