Cross Country Championships bringing over 3,000 kids to Myrtle Beach
December 5, 2014 at 12:10 AM EST - Updated July 11 at 7:34 AM
MYRTLE BEACH,S.C.- (WMBF) The National Junior Olympics Cross Country meet is just the latest in a series of upcoming events that highlight the growth of sports tourism in the Myrtle Beach area and is only days away. Within a week, Whispering Pines golf course, will be overrun with thousands of athletes, aged 7-18, all competing for the All-American status.
“This is our second year hosting it. We did it back in 2011, although this will be almost twice as big", said Mark Kruea, Assistant City Manager. "It is a national tournament so there's a bidding process. You have to impress them with your community and we were able to do that with Myrtle Beach.”
With over 75,000 hotel rooms, cottages and condos, Myrtle Beach has the occupancy to accommodate large groups and it offers a wide variety of entertainment, including over 120 golf courses but Kruea says when I came right down to it, Myrtle Beach sold itself.
“It's an affordable destination. We've got a great course around whispering pines golf course", said Kruea. "We've got lots of hotel rooms, we got a nice brand new airport and then fun things for the families to do, restaurants, shopping, entertainment.”
During the summer months, tourists travel from across the country for the Grand Strand's sand and sun. Now, in the shoulder season, some of that business has slowed but the event's expected economic impact of "4 to 5 million dollars" to the city of Myrtle Beach makes the timing just right.
“This is a great time to host an event like this. We've got more than 3,000 athletes, so they'll bring families and everybody so it may be 10,000 people who are coming to town in the middle of December for a sports tourism event here in Myrtle Beach."
The City of Myrtle Beach and Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce welcome all athletes and their families for the 2014 USATF National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships that will run from December 9-13 at Whispering Pines golf course.