MYRTLE BEACH, S.C., Jan. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- As one of the fastest growing family and vacation destinations in the nation, the 60 miles of coastline in the Myrtle Beach area currently attract an average of 15 million annual visitors, along with thousands of new residents to the destination each year. Keeping up with its ever-growing popularity and combination of southern charm, white sandy beaches and modern affordable amenities, the following are just a few highlights on the horizon for 2013.
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Airport Expansion and New Service
A big year for aviation news, Myrtle Beach International Airport will welcome the completion of a $113 million expansion project to open by spring. This massive project will extend the passenger terminal from six to 13 gates; and will add nearly 40,000 square feet of glass and new dining facilities including two local restaurants bringing Carolina Coastal flair. New parking areas and a rental car facility will round out the expansion. To complement the news, air service developments include new daily direct service beginning April 25 on Spirit Airlines from BWI (Baltimore/Washington) and PHI (Philadelphia).
When the newest boardwalk in the U.S. opened in Myrtle Beach in 2010, it sparked a revitalization of the downtown area that continues to shape and change the 1.2 mile stretch of coast. By spring, a new entertainment complex featuring a miniature golf course and restaurant will be complete on the former site of a historic Inn. The complex will include the only mini golf course located on the new boardwalk, and will feature black light golf that will run through the old cellar of the inn, originally built in the 1930s. In addition, a new 6,000-square-foot building is being created on Ocean Blvd. that will be home to a candy store and ice cream shop with a colorful, candy-inspired façade.
At the Hilton Myrtle Beach Resort, 385 guest rooms are undergoing renovation to be completed by spring, which includes new bedding, furniture and bathroom upgrades. Also, Springmaid Beach Resort has recently completed a $7 million dollar property-wide renovation and plans to spend another $2 million for work on 492 guest rooms and amenities.
Attractions and Entertainment
Attraction and entertainment developments include new rides and rebranding of the area's only seaside amusement park, Family Kingdom; a new 150-seat comedy club at Broadway at the Beach; and an expansion of South Carolina's most-visited attraction, Ripley's Aquarium, by summer 2014. This spring will also mark the opening of the world's first exhibition on UFO history in Myrtle Beach. The area's cultural heritage will be recognized with the reopening of the Horry County Museum at the former historic Burroughs School. This 10,000-square-foot space will feature a walk through time with two galleries on the Civil War, rotating exhibits, historical artifacts and a 600-seat auditorium.
Major Events and Milestones
Rounding out the year will be celebrations of the 75th Anniversary for the City of Myrtle Beach; hosting for the first of three years the Big South Conference Basketball Championship (March 5-10); and honoring the title of "miniature golf capital of the world" by hosting the U.S. Pro Mini Golf Tournament in May.
About Myrtle Beach, S.C.
The Myrtle Beach area, popularly known as the Grand Strand, stretches from Little River to Pawleys Island, comprising 12 distinct cities along the South Carolina coast. Home to world-class golf, 60 miles of sandy beaches, an assortment of entertainment and family attractions and Southern hospitality, the Myrtle Beach area presents the quintessential vacation experience.
For additional information on the Myrtle Beach area, visit www.visitmyrtlebeach.com or call (888) Myrtle-1.
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SOURCE Myrtle Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau