MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Following what the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce called a remarkable year, President and CEO Karen Riordan told News 13 she’s excited for what’s to come in 2022.
Riordan is hoping to see pre-pandemic levels and a more normalized new year. A big focus will be branding the area as a year-round destination of 60 miles of beach.
“I think what we really care about is the economic impact,” she said.
As Myrtle Beach becomes a more popular destination, that makes 2022 a target year for more growth and redevelopment.
“Not only are we a place that’s really popular with tourists, but we’ve become a place where a lot of folks have wanted to move,” Riordan said.
Two goal in particular — promoting diversity in the economy throughout the downtown area and bringing in more investors.
“We don’t have a lot concentrated in the area that we’re looking at revitalizing,” she said. “Coffee shops, bookstores, restaurants, entertainment, places where people can go and relax. I think all of those kinds of businesses, hopefully will find a great home downtown.”
With tourism reaching record levels this year, Riordan worries less about the number of visitors in 2022, and more on the economic impact.
“What we’re really going to be measuring is more, ‘Can we get that family of four to come in? Can we get them to stay all weekend? Can we essentially get as much economic impact from that family as possible?’” she said.
And with the continued growth, managing roadways will be another task chamber will face come next year.
“We’re really dealing with those growing pains,” Riordan said. “And we as a community all have to figure out how we’re going to accommodate people that are buying new houses here and that are moving, and making sure that we’ve got the right infrastructure in place to support all of that.”