Plans to use Pavilion site again

Myrtle Beach, SC - MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The old Pavilion amusement park site is getting a much needed makeover.

The Myrtle Beach Downtown Redevelopment Corporation (DRC) began leasing the land at the site in April. A giant inflatable water slide will soon go up and it is part of a new effort by the corporation to bring more activity to the once booming site.

"This lease with Burroughs and Chapin is enabling us to fulfill that part of [our] mission - bringing business, excitement, and activity to the downtown area," DRC Executive Assistant Koribrett Turner-Vaught said.

The DRC will clean up the site and add new dirt and grass. The lease is year to year so board members are trying to figure out ways to use this site without building any major development.

They will decide everything from what types of businesses can open and what the hours will be, to what special events are allowed.

"We don't want to put anything in there that is a conflict to the existing businesses," DRC board member Karon Mitchell said. "Anything that goes in the property we want it to be something different - an asset to the community."

Right now the main goal is to make the site more of an oceanfront park for concerts, festivals and a place for everyone to enjoy.

Mitchell says a major goal of setting guidelines will also be associated with those special events. She said the DRC wants to make sure special events organizers plan to use the site for events that will grow over time.

Tourist Melissa Reece says the site currently looks "junky." She liked the idea of creating a large green space instead of redeveloping the land.

"Then you can give both the visitors and the people who live here a different thing to go to or look at or experience," Reece said.

Mitchell, who is also a downtown hotel and motel owner, says she is excited about the plans because of what it can do for downtown businesses. She said the vacant lot has been a detriment to downtown instead of the asset it has the potential to be.

"Just the fact that we can be using the B and C property so that it's just not sitting there empty, that's a plus for our neighborhood," Mitchell said.

The water slide is set to open July 1 and operate through the end of September.

In addition to the slide, the DRC has plans for a small stage and sand volleyball courts at the old Pavilion site.

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