HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Myrtle Beach area visitors tend to head out for Christmas, but this year, there may be a new reason stick around. Grand Strand Ice Management wants to make Myrtle Beach winters a little cooler. Works are in the making for a temporary rink to the Grand Strand.
Two areas of interest are the Myrtle Beach Speedway and Carolina Forest Recreation Center. Conversations are ongoing with both locations to see who may be on board to make this temporary ice rink happen.
The goal is to get the ice laid out for December. It would be about the size of a tennis court, and stick around for about a month. It would be geared towards locals, to make the beach feel a little more like Christmas.
Cost is the issue for the project, estimating nearly $100K. The funding goal would be made through sponsorships, but the Grand Strand Ice Management leader is so adamant, this will see success, he's ready to front the money it takes to get the ice on the ground.
Grand Strand Ice Management has been working on a permanent rink since 2010, but the plans remain frozen in time. The company hopes getting a temporary rink in for Christmas will warm Grand Strand leaders up to the idea and consider a permanent one.
A rink could be a home for the new CCU Ice Hockey team which now travels to Wilmington to play, or potential for a pro-team for Myrtle Beach to rally around. The company says with the rink, the potential is there to see more hockey, figure skating and curling events. One tournament draws about 2,000 people. The impact would be seen beyond the ice.
"The time frame when people aren't here, you're gonna get the airport tax, you're gonna get hotel tax, you're gonna get meal tax, you're gonna retain jobs, people are gonna have the ability to see the grand strand and Myrtle Beach without all the hectic chaos," said Steve Elias Jr, GM of Grand Strand Ice Management.
Grand Strand Ice Management wants your input so they've put together a survey: http://grandstrandicemanagement.com/hockey-survey/
You can also check out the business plan for an ice rink in our area: http://grandstrandicemanagement.com/grand-strand-ice-rink-business-plan/