PTR, other big business, could create push for I-73

Bringing industry to Force 73

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - After the announcement gun maker PTR Industries would set up shop in Aynor, Horry County's economic leaders want to attract more firearms manufacturers to our area. And bringing in these big businesses could actually spur on other big projects, like Interstate 73.

"Horry County is the place to look at for relocation and expansion," said State Representative Alan Clemmons.

After PTR Industries' recent announcement they'd be relocating to Horry County, bringing with them over 140 jobs, other Connecticut-based gun dealers have taken a look at the area, due to sweeping reforms in the Constitution State.

"It started in the late 1700's," said Representative Clemmons. "Gun makers all flocked to the Connecticut River Valley. It became known as Gun Valley."

Now, Representative Clemmons, Governor Haley, and MBREDC Executive Director Brad Lofton want to bring Gun Valley to Horry County.

Stag Firearms president and owner Mark Malkowski recently visited the Grand Strand, after announcing a desire to relocate his company. WMBF News caught up with Mr. Malkowski on his way home. He says he likes what he sees, but also says logistics and roads are big for decisions on his business.

"You do have I-95 nearby," he said. "You do have a central location, and that's all very important."

Big manufacturers need big roads to get materials in and their product out, and one big project on the books for Horry County could provide just what they need: Interstate 73.

"They don't want their product sitting in vacationer traffic," Representative Clemmons said.

Representative Clemmons says the needs of big business when it comes to shipping product could get the ball rolling on I-73 sooner rather than later, especially because of all the individual parts needed to put together one firearm.

"Some could have as many as 200 individual parts," says Little River Pawn gunsmith Ben Spivey. "It all depends on the pins and springs."

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