Sports tourism continues to grow across the region. Myrtle Beach has taken the lead with the extensive Grand Park facility at the Market Common and a new indoor sports complex opening next spring. North Myrtle Beach has had much success with its new sports recreation facility during its first year and Florence is also boosting its economy with sports events.
We're seeing success with baseball, softball, basketball, tennis, volleyball, soccer, lacrosse, running and other competitions. The success in those sports will peak at some point so it makes sense to begin looking at other areas for growth. One test is taking place right now… and it's getting a cold reception. Literally. The ice rink set up at Myrtle Beach Mall is very busy with people enjoying what Mother Nature doesn't provide in South Carolina. That's good news for the people who are pushing the icy sports.
Just like other sports that draw families and boost tourism, hockey tournaments and other skating competitions could do the same. And during off times the rink could be used by local hockey clubs, high school teams and college contests. With all of the people who have relocated here from the Northeast and Midwest where ice sports are common, it would be wise for area leaders to look at the feasibility of installing a permanent rink.