Census numbers point to connection between tourism, permanent moves

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Numbers from the 2010 Census show that growth in the permanent population of Horry County has been tremendous in the past ten years, growing by over 37 percent. Now that the numbers are in, in leads people to wonder what it is about the Carolina Coast that makes people want to call it home.

The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce sees a correlation between the rise in numbers of permanent residents, and the rise in the number of tourists to the Grand Strand every year.

"For many people, the same reasons they come down for vacation are the same reasons they come down to buy property" said Brad Dean, President and CEO of the Chamber. Dean attributes much of the rise in numbers to promotions and ad campaigns that reach out to people who have never visited the Carolina Coast.

"Back in the 1990s, three quarters of our visitors came from North and South Carolina," said Dean. "As we began to expand our promotion and attract visitors from the northeast and midwest, many of those people came for a few vacations and decided it was a great place to invest."

And many of those recurring visitors to Horry County choose to move here permanently because the area already feels familiar. Joan Nobiling and her husband, Jerry, moved to Myrtle Beach from Rochester, NY; but not before they had visited the Grand Strand for several years.

"We've been coming here for years," Joan said, "we rented for many years and I wanted to buy a place. So last year, we did."

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