City of Myrtle Beach outlines potential parking plans for conven - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

City of Myrtle Beach outlines potential parking plans for convention center

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - With a newly opened sports center, the City of Myrtle Beach faces a new issue. Potentially, thousands of people in town at one time for events at multiple venues could make finding a parking spot challenging.

There are 2,250 spots in the shared lot between the Myrtle Beach Convention Center and brand new indoor Myrtle Beach Sports Center.

At its biggest events, the convention center alone can bring in thousands of people. The city says there's only a handful of times each year parking problems could be anticipated, but that will probably change.

"It's a good problem to have," according to Mark Kruea, spokesperson for the City of Myrtle Beach. "About half a dozen times a year we have major events at the convention center and now the sports center, that cause overflow parking situations. It's not every event. And at this point we do have plans in place to help find parking in other areas."

The parking lot at Ticketreturn.com Field is owned by the city and makes up 1,800 spots.

So when there's an overflow situation, people can shuttle or walk from the baseball stadium. The city says it also gives special permission during those times to businesses around the convention center to rent out daily spots.

The indoor sports center opened within the last few months. As its popularity grows, the city predicts larger events will be booked there.

"The parking certainly is something we're aware of and are watching," Kruea said. "For example, when we built the sports center we added 500 parking spaces.

And there's another fall-back plan, according to Kruea. 

"We do own some additional land behind the sports center there. We are talking about a road that'll run between Oak and Grissom. The question is now how to develop that additional land."

But the city believes parking is not an urgent, pressing matter. The timing depends on the success of the two venues. "At some point, they will grow to the point where we do need to worry about additional parking."

The city is actively discussing charging more for a one-day parking spot at the convention center. Right now, it is $3 per day, but they're looking to increase it to $5 a day.

That money, according to Kruea, would be put towards creating in additional parking.

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