Were Grand Strand goals fulfilled for 2014? - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Were Grand Strand goals fulfilled for 2014?

Last year, WMBF News asked you what you wanted area leaders to focus on for 2014. One of the answers we heard most was a push for sports tourism. Last year, WMBF News asked you what you wanted area leaders to focus on for 2014. One of the answers we heard most was a push for sports tourism.

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - This is the time of year everyone declares their resolutions, but what about those goals for the Grand Strand?

Last year, WMBF News asked you what you wanted area leaders to focus on for 2014. One of the answers we heard most was a push for sports tourism.

As 2014 comes to a close, the Myrtle Beach Sports Complex has yet to open. While that won't happen until the new year, milestones were made elsewhere for sports tourism in the Grand Strand.

We saw the Park and Sports Complex open in North Myrtle Beach, bringing in an economic impact of more than $16-million, for the year.

From baseball to the state's first ever quidditch tournament, the complex held over 50 events. It even opened Jetpack and Go Ape, first ever adventures for the area. Each event and attraction, fulfilling the goal, organizers had from the get-go.

"These facilities play such a large role in our local economy that even if people don't use the facility, they're bringing people to town and they're bringing that economic impact that we need here in the Grand Strand," said Matt Gibbons with North Myrtle Beach Park and Sports Complex, in an interview, earlier this month.

Each facility proved in 2014 to play an impact, and so did each event. Take the Beach Ball Classic for example. Just this weekend organizers were coining it one of the most successful years for the tournament.

"Hundreds, if not thousands of fans come to the games, teams bring their followers, so it has actually a very significant impact on the tourism industry and the economy here during the week the week we'd normally be very low,” said Joe Wachter with the Beach Ball Classic.

Also making it on regional comcast channels, which means TV screens, nationwide.

While on the topic of national exposure, how about Big Break Myrtle Beach? The TV show aired on the Golf Channel, showcasing several of our very own golf courses. When we spoke to course leaders, they were blown away by the impact.

“Every day we have request after request of people wanting to play the golf courses that were seen on the Golf Channel,” said Rich Bartram with Barefoot Golf.

In the new year we'll continue to wait out the possibility of sand volleyball courts and the opening of the sports complex in Myrtle Beach, all adding to that push for sports tourism, you wanted to see.

When WMBF News asked you what else you wanted to see, you said, the Backgate bridge.

"That's been a huge improvement, it really has,” said Phil Mackey of Carolina Forest.

Many of you said, if there's one word to describe 2014, it's construction.

"I'm super glad they widened 501 because I take that road every day and it makes my life a lot easier,” said local, Emily Swearingen.

Local drivers are also at ease, now that highly anticipated road projects, like the widening of Highway 707, is finally underway.

"They're working now down on Glenns Bay, they're gonna [sic] put an overpass there. That will be good because there's a lot of traffic and congestion there,” said Diane Martin who is ready for relief on the roads.

Even though the project won't be finished in the new year, and will take a total of three, many of you are seeing cones and cranes as a good sign, especially on Ocean Boulevard in Myrtle Beach.

With the announcement of a new hotel on the north end of Ocean, and the groundbreaking of the Homewood Suites Oceanfront Resort and Conference Center, down south, there's some fulfillment with the continued effort to build the Grand Strand as a tourist town.

"I think if they build more hotels, they need to build more attractions, too,” said Swearingen. The brand new Hollywood Wax Museum in Myrtle Beach, which opened this year, is a good example.

Now that 2014 is nearing its end, we want to know what you want to see in the New Year. Head to The WMBF News Facebook fan page and let us know the goals you want fulfilled for 2015.

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