SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - First impressions could make or break a decision for hotel guests looking for a night's stay in the Grand Strand. The Surfside Beach Resort is undergoing renovations to catch you and your family's eyes.
The goal is to keep up with the hotel, to stay on the cutting edge of hospitality.
"I want it clean, comfortable, updated; internet access is important," said Coleen Tyler from New Jersey.
Tyler says when she travels, she's ultimately looking for an updated hotel. Local hotel managers are finding, it's the demand for new amenities that's growing with time.
"Our travelers today are much more sophisticated and much more educated," said Surfside Beach Resort General Manager Phil Vassar. "As they travel, they go into franchise hotels that set standards that we must now keep up with."
Two years of updates may cost about $2 million, but Vassar says its worth every dime.
"Our guests are living here on vacation for three to four days or more," said Vassar. "We want to meet all their expectations and send them home with a wow experience."
Those improvements start the minute you pull up to the oceanfront resort. The first thing you'll notice is expansion of the the hotel entrance. Since it can fill up to 400 guests, the hotel is expanding the pool deck to add more seating. To answer the request of guests, the new lobby marketplace will feature a Starbucks. Then, every single room will be refurbished with new bathrooms and furniture.
To please their tech-savvy guests, they're adding flat screen TVs, digital safes and iHomes in every room.
On top of all these renovations happening inside the hotel, it's also renovated the outside restaurant: Scotty's Beach Bar.
Surfside Beach may be miles away from the bustling area around the Myrtle Beach Skywheel, but guests say, this area has its own niche.
"I really like staying here because its very low key and comfortable," said Tyler.
That's one reason, the General Manager says people come to Surfside. The other, the location between the attractions in Myrtle, and the Marshwalk in Murrells Inlet, which he says allows visitors to get the best of both worlds.
"Yeah it's competitive with Myrtle Beach but our unique opportunity down here is that if you're looking for quiet and safe and secure and a less-crowded beach, we offer that to our guests," said Vassar.
Since Surfside is filled with rental homes, this resort is one of the few in the town. With that being said, the GM says it has to stay top of the line. That's why it's bringing in the hard hats and undergoing renovations, to make sure the hotel, and our destination, always stands out.
The General Manager says the bulk of the work will be done Easter weekend, just in time for the big crowds.
Vassar says although it may be a minor inconvenience for current guests, the hotel appreciates their patience. Tyler said, despite the construction, she would return to the hotel.
"There's a lot of opportunities to go a lot of places on vacation and we must stay ahead of that and continue to let the traveling public what the Grand Strand and particular for us, Surfside Beach has to offer," said Vassar.