Coastal Uncorked markets Grand Strand as culinary destination - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Coastal Uncorked markets Grand Strand as culinary destination

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The Myrtle Beach Area Hospitality Association recently announced the group is taking over Coastal Uncorked.

Stephen Greene, the association's president, says the association is already working on plans for what's to come next year.

Greene says they plan to build on the existing appeal of Coastal Uncorked Food, Wine & Spirits Festival and use it to help attract even more visitors. He says the event is an opportunity to market the Grand Strand as a culinary destination.

According to Greene, the restaurant industry is booming and the proof is in the pudding. The Myrtle Beach area has more than 17,000 restaurants. Coastal Uncorked events showcase the different local foodie experiences available to locals and potential visitors.  

For years, Coastal Uncorked has been put on by the group of local volunteers who started it back in 2009. The association will now have a full time staff dedicated to its growth.  

"What we need to do is just talk about the culinary side and how important that is for us to really showcase the great restaurants we have, the amazing chefs, the farm to table. Also, the different fresh seafood product that we have here and we think this event can really propel us."

There could be some changes to some of the events next year. Right now organizers are looking at where the Coastal Uncorked Food, Wine & Spirits Festival has had the most success in years past.

The main tasting event dated could be moved to the first week of June; last year it was held in April and in May the year before that. Pushing it to the start of the summer means local hotels can offer better packages to out of towers, which could draw in bigger crowds.

Greene says there could also be a return of the trolleys. The trolleys were used in previous events to move event goers throughout the 13 different wine and food tasting spots and Greene says they were a hit.

Last year the trolleys were axed because it was too much of a logistical challenge. The new organizers say they will try to find a way to incorporate them again in 2013 with maybe fewer stops along the way.

Another change could be the venue for the Grand Tasting event and organizers are looking over several options.

"Meeting with past sponsors, meeting with different groups, talking about different locations. Our committees and out groups will look forward to where we're planning," added Greene.

Even though the association recently took over the event, Greene says they don't feel like they're behind the eight ball. They plan to make announcements about the 2013 events by early next year.

Copyright 2012 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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