CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) - The inaugural Myrtle Beach Bowl was another major event to bring business to the Grand Strand following College GameDay at Coastal Carolina University’s Brooks Stadium.
On Monday, thousands of App State and North Texas fans were in the stands to root for their teams.
The economic impact spans from hotels booking visitors and the two teams, to people exploring the Grand Strand’s entertainment venues and restaurants.
Mark Lazarus, president of Broadway Grand Prix, said the App State football team rode go-carts and played arcade games there Saturday to have some fun ahead of the big game.
“Any time you can bring a special event into town that can bring great numbers of people is great for our whole economy,” Lazarus said.
Broadway Grand Prix is one of the sponsors of the Myrtle Beach Bowl. Lazarus said after the Sun Belt Conference Championship was canceled due to COVID-19, he was worried the same would happen to the bowl game.
He was glad to see it go on and bring thousands of people to the Grand Strand.
“We’re so excited about it especially during the time of the year when it’s a little slow,” Lazarus said.
Sean Kobus, the owner of Chanti’s and the Crafty Rooster restaurants in downtown Conway, said he was also devastated when the Sun Belt Conference Championship was canceled, noting he missed out on a lot of potential business.
While Kobus doesn’t expect as much traffic from the Myrtle Beach Bowl, any business helps during these tough times.
“There’s definitely people in town that would normally not be in town this time of year for that game,” Kobus said. “I think their fans travel in good numbers and that’s really good for the area. I’m sure a lot of hotels are happy about that and other restaurants too.”
Visit Myrtle Beach expects the bowl game to bring in $1 million in sports tourism revenue to the area.