Businesses hope Beach Music Festival boosts bottom lines

Myrtle Beach, SC - MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Construction crews may still be weeks away from completing Myrtle Beach's new boardwalk, but with each piece of wood put into place on the city's new attraction, the excitement grows for business owners and visitors.

"I was surprised when I came down here," said Jamie Hurst, a tourist visiting Myrtle Beach from Ohio. "It makes you want to go to the beach more."

Myrtle Beach leaders hope the seaside town's newest multi-million dollar project will draw that same reaction for each person that steps foot downtown. To keep the anticipation flowing until its official opening, the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce announced a ribbon cutting ceremony and beach music festival to highlight the occasion on May 15.

"This is our first festival dedicated to beach music, and there's no better place than Myrtle Beach to showcase top-notch bands and to challenge the 'Cake Boss' to create a flip-flop cake," said Brad Dean, president and CEO of the MBACC.

Following Wednesday's announcement of the boardwalk's ribbon cutting ceremony and Beach Music Festival, store owners in the area say it can only help their business increase.

"I believe it's going to open a lot of opportunities and a lot of doors for the merchants downtown," said Jonathan Staton, owner of Dagwood's Deli in Myrtle Beach.

While the boardwalk may bring a much-needed financial boost to the bottom line of many businesses, Staton also believes the project means a revitalized, refreshed future for the downtown.

"Hopefully it'll give people the opportunity to revitalize some of the properties downtown," Staton said. "Fill in some of the vacant stores that are down there. [There's] lots of opportunity. It's a great new amenity for the city."

The Beach Music Festival is slated to be held from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on May 15 on Ocean Boulevard between Eighth and Ninth Avenues North.