MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Now that the new Myrtle Beach terminal is open and operating, there has been a several month discussion on what happens with the old one. WMBF News is learning that it might be a while before we get that answer.
As of now, Horry County officials say the old terminal discussion is on hold. But one thing is for sure- the building doesn't meet Myrtle Beach Community Appearance Board standards as it stands now, so it does eventually have to change. But the question Horry County officials are debating is how they want the building to change.
Some of the top options discussed in the past have been to renovate the building and use the old gates or to just tear it down. There were also efforts to sell part of the building, but no one took the offer. Airport officials are now taking a step back from the discussion to focus on other more pressing airport matters.
Interim Horry County Airport Manager Pat Apone says she doesn't want to limit the future of the terminal to just a few options, and this will give more time to review in detail the numbers and recommendations that have been made.
"I want to be able to go in and investigate it myself," explained Apone. "And do the due diligence that I need to do to make a recommendation to the advisory committee and then up through council. So that's where we are right now."
There's no deadline on when airport officials have to make a decision on the old terminal, but meanwhile things are changing at the new terminal. The airport may soon give travelers more options.
MYR Marketing Director Kirk Lovell tells WMBF News retail sales have been in 2013. At some concessions during the tourist season, there can more than 20 people waiting in line. So smaller but more convenient options have been proposed. The Horry County Airport Advisory Committee has approved the preliminary design for the newly proposed kiosks to line the area by the departure gates. The three kiosks, which will be operated by the Hudson Group, will sell items travelers might need- like Myrtle Beach souvenirs, sunglasses and food from local restaurants. Similar type kiosks in other larger airports, but Myrtle Beach's new terminal was designed with wide open spaces so kiosks and concession stands could be added to give travelers more convenient shopping and dining.
"This is part of the plan that we had," said Apone. "To grow this terminal building and add additional resources to our customers and passengers."
This has been approved by the Airport Advisory Committee but still has to be approved by Horry County Council. There are stipulations, such as the kiosks will be required to show sales growth. If there aren't increased sales one year, then the airport will have the right to remove the kiosks.