Myrtle Beach leaders start planning for city's future

Myrtle Beach leaders start planning for city's future

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – To start planning for the future, Myrtle Beach city leaders began by first talking about the area's strengths and weaknesses.

This was the theme at a strategic planning workshop held Tuesday morning. Leaders identified some of the city's strengths as the ocean, the climate and affordability.

Some of the negatives discussed included the transient population, low-paying jobs and a difficulty in attracting the millennial generation to move into and work in Myrtle Beach.

When looking at redevelopment, work at the Grand Dunes and the refurbishing of the former Myrtle Beach Air Force Base property into The Market Common were viewed as immense successes.

But one large area of the city leaders said needs attention is the boardwalk district, cited as the heartbeat of Myrtle Beach.

City leaders discussed arguably the two biggest undeveloped properties in prime locations - the former Pavilion Park and the old Myrtle Beach Mall location.

Both are owned by Burroughs and Chapin. While leaders feel developing the sites would be in the best interest of the city and its overall economy, it is out of their hands.

What was seen as having to be done was picking strategic initiatives, such as attracting millennials, higher-paying jobs and redevelopment.

That is why taking a step back and looking at the long-term goals is important.

"And then there's obviously the final piece; how do you fund your strategic initiatives?" said Myrtle Beach City Councilman Wayne Gray. "Great ideas are only as good as the resources you have to support them. And it's often difficult for us to do that at our regular meetings or at our budget workshop, because there's so many items on the agenda."

One thing leaders agree on that would be very beneficial for Myrtle Beach in the future is an interstate system leading into city.

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