Blake Wolfe is an award-winning journalist and editor, who joined PAX after nearly 10 years in Canada’s newspaper industry. In addition to PAX, his work has been featured in publications such as the Metroland Media group of newspapers and the Toronto Sun.
Appeals to millennial travellers, new hotels and attractions and an extended boardwalk are among the features in store for travellers heading to Myrtle Beach this year.
Kimberly Hartley, Canadian sales manager for the Myrtle Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau and Julie Ellis, public relations and communications manager for the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, stopped by the PAX office this week to share what’s new in the destination for 2018 and beyond.
According to Hartley, last year was a busy one for the popular coastal destination, which welcomed more than 1 million Canadians out of 18 million total visitors. By size, Ontario is the largest Canadian source market for the destination, representing 65 per cent of Canadian arrivals, followed by Quebec at 25 per cent and the remainder consisting of travellers from mainly Atlantic Canada.
60 More Days of Summer
For the 2018 edition of its popular 60 More Days of Summer campaign, which encourages travel during the off-peak fall season, Ellis said that Myrtle Beach will focus on drawing more millennials to the destination, as those travellers start families and seek out kid-friendly travel options.
Among the campaign’s highlights are an emphasis on family ‘firsts,’ Ellis said, such as capturing a child’s first glimpse of the ocean and feeling the sand beneath their toes on the beach. Myrtle Beach will pair these year-round experiences with a series of special promotions available only in September and October, including complimentary photo opportunities, themed lodging and attraction packages, and much more.
Numerous activities are available for families along the area’s nearly 100 kilometers of coastline, such as discovering the deep sea at Ripley’s Aquarium, meeting local wildlife at the Lowcountry Zoo at Brookfield Gardens, exploring the outdoors at Huntington Beach and Myrtle Beach State Parks and enjoying many water activities.
More information on the 60 More Days campaign will be available in the coming months.
Along the boardwalk
One of the destination’s main tourist attractions is the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, which see a pair of changes in the near future.
Construction has already begun on a new 55,000-square-foot complex along the boardwalk at 14th Avenue North, which will bring several new restaurants, retail stores, and a live music venue. They will include Tin Roof, a Nashville-based live music venue, and the national chain BurgerFi. The Mexican restaurant Bandito’s will also be moving to the new complex, which had formally resided at that location. The new development will include a ground floor retail store selling light groceries, beach essentials, fashionable brands, and sundries. A national coffee franchise is likely to sign a lease agreement and new tenants are being sought to fill remaining space.
In addition, the boardwalk will be extended another block on the north to connect to a new Hilton hotel property. An oceanfront park will be built as part of the project.
Myrtle Beach will see the addition of several new properties in the coming months, including:
Hilton Ocean 16 - a new hotel featuring 330 luxury oceanfront units reaching a height of 260 feet. Now under construction with a projected completion date in the summer of 2019, the hotel is located at 1600 North Ocean Blvd.
Marriott Hotel at 21st Avenue North Myrtle Beach - plans are in the works to demolish two Breakers Resort hotel buildings managed by Brittain Resorts & Hotels and replace them with a Marriott-branded resort. Construction is set to begin on the first phase tower in the fall of 2018. The second phase does not currently have a start date.
Residence Inn Marriott - Construction has begun on a Residence Inn Marriott on 26th Avenue South Ocean Boulevard. The 305,964-square-foot hotel will be 17 stories high and include its own parking structure and pool. A completion date has not yet been set.
South Bay Inn & Suites – this new oceanfront resort property will total 237,000-square-feet, 19-stories high and include 242 guest rooms, an exercise gym, game room, full service bar area and sit-down restaurant. Envisioned to be the premier family-friendly hotel in the area, it will also have an onsite waterpark featuring two slides, a lazy river, a small kids’ water play area, a larger pool and two separate hot tubs. Opening is planned for May 2018.
Myrtle Beach Marriott Resort & Spa at Grande Dunes - The Myrtle Beach Marriott is going to be renovating the lobby, restaurant (Oceans on 82) and public space. Completion date is targeted for mid-May, 2018.
The Breakers Resort - The resort’s Seaside Building will be taken down and replaced with a beautiful new registration building, lobby and more to welcome Breakers guests. Next door to the Seaside Building at the Palms Tower, a complete, nearly $5 million renovation of all rooms, hallways and common areas is in the works and set for completion in April. The Palms Tower lobby will also be all new this spring, and new features will include a gift shop where guests can pick up beach necessities and souvenirs.
Carolinian Beach Resort - The Carolinian offers a variety of room options from 100 newly renovated hotel rooms to spacious one-, two-, and three-bedroom suites sure to fit any budget.
Check out visitmyrtlebeach.ca for more.
For more information, visit www.myrtlebeach.com.