MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The City of Myrtle Beach laid plans for a large outdoor sand volleyball complex in its annual budget last year. The goal was to have the courts, new parking lot and restroom facilities finished by March 2015. According to the plan, construction should be underway and nearing completion, but it hasn't started yet, and the community has asked why.
The reason for the holdup: the city doesn't own the land. The courts are to go in what's called "Pebble Beach," the empty lot between Springmaid Beach Resort and Damon's on the south end of Myrtle Beach.
"We're still trying to work out something with the property owner for the use, the lease of that property," said Mark Kruea, spokesman for the City of Myrtle Beach. "So far we've not been able to do that."
So the plans for the eight-court, outdoor facility with a large parking lot and restroom facilities available right off the beach have been put on hold. Kruea says the city hasn't abandoned the proposal that easily, though. "That doesn't mean that we aren't still interested in it, that it's not still something the city would love to see there," he said. "It potentially could be the biggest and best beach volleyball venue in the country if we can pull that off."
The venue could bring in nationally-televised tournaments and high school, college, and recreational teams to Myrtle Beach. The outdoor facility has been touted as one that would be one-of-a-kind because of its size and location right on the beach.
It isn't just the sand volleyball courts and all the sports tourism dollars they could drive in. Local businesses and beach-goers agree: parking is a much-needed commodity on the south end.
The city is still pushing for a resolution with the land owner. In the meantime, the several-hundred-thousand-dollars budgeted for the project is still waiting to be spent and there are no plans to move it.
Kruea says if the city comes to an agreement with the landowner, they'll probably get the project finished as soon as possible because it's not a very intensive construction project.