Myrtle Beach, SC - MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - It's a multi-million dollar project leaders hope will draw tourists and residents to Myrtle Beach, and on Friday, officials announced most of the city's new boardwalk has been opened to the public.
Mark Kruea, spokesman for the City of Myrtle Beach, says construction crews were busy this week tying up a number of loose ends. With those small projects nearing completion, Kruea says the city is now ready to accept the new project.
Businesses who operate on the new boardwalk said they're already beginning to see an increase in business.
"We've definitely seen a difference already, today's already been double than what we did this time last year" said Michael Cummings, who manages the Ocean Front Grill.
"Each business is going to be able to do a sidewalk cafe and have chairs outside" said Cummings.
Officials say a stretch of the new attraction from the 14th Avenue Pier to 4th Avenue North is now accessible and open to the public. The three remaining blocks, according to Kruea, remain under construction and should open no later than early June.
"I've been to Savannah and Atlanta and compared to them, this is nice" said John Fields, whose visiting Myrtle Beach from Rockingham, North Carolina.
The Myrtle Beach Boardwalk and Promenade is slated to cost more than $6 million and encompass more than a mile of beach that runs parallel to Ocean Boulevard. Once complete, the boardwalk will begin near the 14th Avenue Pier and stretch south to the 2nd Avenue Pier.
Members of the Myrtle Beach City Council say the attraction will show off the Grand Strand's natural beauty and feature a carnival-themed area in the middle of the boardwalk. The City of Myrtle Beach's website says the boardwalk will help provide a walking alternative for people along the ocean, instead of traveling along Ocean Boulevard.