WMBF Investigates: Local state park attendance rising - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

WMBF Investigates: Local state park attendance rising

(Source: WMBF News) (Source: WMBF News)

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The $75 South Carolina State Park Passport is a cheaper option than the $100 decal Myrtle Beach is offering non-city residents. It’s one reason park attendance is on the rise, but it’s not the only reason.

A WMBF News investigation found more visitors are coming to both Huntington Beach and Myrtle Beach State Parks than previous years, but it's a trend that goes back well before the pay to park debate in Myrtle Beach started.

“Huntington I think is different than pretty much any place in the world,” said park manager Brenda Magers.

She isn’t interested in getting involved in the back and forth between the county and the city. Magers does believe Huntington Beach State Park has a lot to offer at an affordable price.

“Five dollars to get in, what else can you do for five dollars that you can spend all day doing,” she said. “It would be even less than that if you start looking at passports that you frequently use.”

Magers said the park has noticed it’s locals who most use that annual pass, and they’re not just a summer-time purchase. They sell throughout the year, especially at the start of each month.

According to attendance figures from the state, attendance has grown each year at Huntington Beach since 2014, from 455,257 to 718,011 in the 2016 fiscal year.

Myrtle Beach State Park attendance has grown as well, up 271,584 people since 2013.

In fact, the jump in visitors Huntington Beach saw from 2015 to 2016, was the biggest increase of all South Carolina’s state parks.

While they may not be coming to avoid parking prices in Myrtle Beach, Magers knows what people are coming for.

“Three miles of undeveloped beach,” she said. “That alone is very rare. You can go on the beach and not see buildings. That’s unusual on the entire grand strand. We also have maritime forests, we have hiking trails, so we have this diversity of resources that is unusual.”

WEB EXTRA -  Check out detailed reports on state park attendance and revenue over the last two years below:

Copyright 2017 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsLocalMore>>

  • Breaking

    Fire at Horry County church deemed suspicious

    Fire at Horry County church deemed suspicious

    Thursday, January 18 2018 10:21 AM EST2018-01-18 15:21:20 GMT
    Source: WMBF NewsSource: WMBF News

    A fire at Heavenly Grace Ministries Church in the Myrtle Beach area just after midnight Wednesday has been deemed suspicious, according to officials. Horry County Fire Rescue responded to the church on Peachtree road at 12:13 a.m. Wednesday, according to an HCFR news release.

    More >>

    A fire at Heavenly Grace Ministries Church in the Myrtle Beach area just after midnight Wednesday has been deemed suspicious, according to officials. Horry County Fire Rescue responded to the church on Peachtree road at 12:13 a.m. Wednesday, according to an HCFR news release.

    More >>
  • Breaking

    Horry County firefighter arrested for sexual battery with a student

    Horry County firefighter arrested for sexual battery with a student

    Thursday, January 18 2018 10:07 AM EST2018-01-18 15:07:24 GMT
    Matthew Oswald. (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)Matthew Oswald. (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)

    An Horry County firefighter living in Conway was arrested Wednesday and charged with sexual battery with a student, according to jail records and other sources. Matthew James Oswald, 31, from Conway, was arrested by Horry County police at 1:15 p.m. Wednesday and charged with sexual battery with a student. As of Thursday morning, he remained incarcerated at J. Reuben Long Detention Center.

    More >>

    An Horry County firefighter living in Conway was arrested Wednesday and charged with sexual battery with a student, according to jail records and other sources. Matthew James Oswald, 31, from Conway, was arrested by Horry County police at 1:15 p.m. Wednesday and charged with sexual battery with a student. As of Thursday morning, he remained incarcerated at J. Reuben Long Detention Center.

    More >>
  • UPDATE: Cancellations and delays due to winter weather

    UPDATE: Cancellations and delays due to winter weather

    Thursday, January 18 2018 8:07 AM EST2018-01-18 13:07:31 GMT
    Closings, cancellations and delays due to the winter weather can be found here. (Source: WMBF News)Closings, cancellations and delays due to the winter weather can be found here. (Source: WMBF News)

    Here is a list of school cancellations, delays and early closures announced ahead of the winter weather expected to impact our area on Wednesday, January 17.

    More >>

    Here is a list of school cancellations, delays and early closures announced ahead of the winter weather expected to impact our area on Wednesday, January 17.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly