Attraction could bring in business to Conway

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - The Conway City Council has been looking at plans for a hotel, and now a new attraction could be in the works to keep people in the area.

This is the latest effort to put Conway in the spotlight and bring in more business.

It'll start by turning the Bay Village Shopping Center, across from Conway High School, into something new. Many of the storefronts there have been vacant for years, but now there are plans to change the look and feel of what was once a major shopping center off of Church Street.

"It used to be thriving," said Allen White, owner of a business in the shopping center called Brooklyn Braids. "Now it's dead. We're trying to pick it up some now when we came in to this building with Brooklyn Braids, and we're doing great, but we can always do better."

Bay Village Shopping Center could end up doing more than just "better". There are talks to see if the empty shells of businesses could be transformed into a new entertainment center for Conway. The plan is to put in venues like a bowling alley, restaurant, a sports bar, and an arcade.

Existing businesses say they're having a tough time, and they think new attractions would bring in more customers and help the city of Conway as a whole.

"It will actually again make the place look a little bit better," said Brad Willis with Conway Ford. "Eye candy and eye appeal for the visitors coming through Conway. When they come through now, the first thing they see is these broke down buildings. So they drive right through."

With these ideas, cars are expected to stop. But before any of this can happen, the city of Conway has to do a feasibility study to see if it's a good idea for the area.

The city will pair up with the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Center will spend 4,500 tax dollars to see if this shopping center can be turned around by investors. The feasibility study is expected to be complete by mid-January.

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