MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — The company behind the surf park coming to Myrtle Beach said it will be a reality.
The park is part of a 20-acre complex between the John T. Rhodes Myrtle Beach Sports Center and Robert Grissom Parkway that also includes a 10,000 seat amphitheater as well as 38 bungalows for visitors. American Surf Parks, the company behind the development, said if proper funding and the right permits are secured, completion of the park should be in 2023.
Company CEO Jeff Skelley addressed Myrtle Beach City Council members and city staff in Thursday’s council workshop to ask for a lease extension through the end of 2022 as well as provide an update on the project.
Skelley said the company has raised $15 million so far from investors. He said they will not start construction until they have $40 million in funding.
Skelley said he expects to hit that target number in the spring of next year.
“We plan to, and are expecting to raise, that first stage of money by the time we permit.”
He said the entire project would cost an estimated $55 million and that investors are slowly trickling in.
“New ways of doing things as a result of COVID has just made people really do their research and take their time,” Skelley said.
Skelley said the park will feature new technology that can create a wave every 8 seconds. The park will also have a climbing wall where people are not tethered and would fall into the water on top of “a huge slide.”
“Oh, we’re thrilled, and people all over the beach are talking about it,” Skelley said.
Estimates show the surf park would bring $450,000 each year to Myrtle Beach. Brian Tucker, assistant city manager with the City of Myrtle Beach, said the demand for a surf park like the one planned is growing worldwide, adding that the surf park and the city complement each other well.
“Where else can you bring that type of development and have 20 million people a year come through your community?” Tucker asked. “Myrtle Beach brings as much to the serve park as the surf park brings to Myrtle Beach.”
City leadership said the park would be the second of its kind in the country.