MYRLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Later this fall, a new permit will give hotels the opportunity to build outdoor pool enclosures. Local hotel managers say this permit will allow them to bring in more business during what is considered the off-season for tourism.
Stephen Greene with the Myrtle Beach Area Hospitality Association says the permit might be new, but this move gives hotels the chance to bring back an amenity they had decades ago.
"It brings back temporary pool enclosures that we've been using since the 1970s," said Greene. "But the most important part of this law is it brings back a competitive base for hotels to bring in guests during the off-season with an amenity that guests demand that time of year."
The permit application is three pages long and hotels must fill them out plus provide detailed blueprints for building the enclosed pools to get approval. Once that's complete, the permits may be renewed annually and it will allow hotels to use enclosed pools from November 30 through June 1.
Eli Komnenovich is vacationing in Myrtle Beach this week; he said he comes to the area a few times a year and not only during the summer time. He said when he came during a cooler part in the year, and indoor pool was a must have.
"It had two pools one was indoor and one was outdoor," Said Komnenovich. "The indoor pool saved us because it was cold that year."
Komnenovich added that if it starts to plan another trip down to Myrtle Beach during the winter months, he'll be looking for the option of having a pool closed off from the outside.
"I mean I would much rather look for a motel with an indoor pool versus the outdoor pool in the winter months because we do like to swim," explains Komnenovich.
Greene said the debate over enclosed pools has been going on for quite a while, and that FEMA officials had concerns with these types of structures saying they could pose a safety hazard during a hurricane. However, Greene said that's not the case.
"We couldn't find anything with the new model that was given that showed any safety increases for our guests so that's the position we maintained and we're excited we went through the legislative process," Added Greene. "Common sense prevailed."