NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – The city’s chamber of commerce is trying to figure out what North Myrtle could look like in the future by joining a study to improve its status as a destination for tourism and living.
As tourists slowly begin to visit North Myrtle before summer begins, the city plans for much further in the future.
“Where do we want to be in 2040 is where we want to get to,” said Cheryl Kilday, president and CEO of the North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce Convention & Visitors Bureau.
The chamber of commerce is taking part in the DestinationNEXT Futures Study, which analyzes how tourist locations market themselves. The chamber hosted its first workshop on Wednesday. The study aims to answer two questions.
The first asks how North Myrtle is doing as a destination to live in and visit.
“All the infrastructure, the services, the accommodations and the attractions, all that,” Kilday said. “The other one is assessing, ‘Where is the community?’ Where are we as an organization? Where are we as civic leaders?”
Berkeley Young is the consultant helping North Myrtle create the three-to-five-year plan. He’s the president of Young Strategies, a planning firm in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Young says the goal is to find out what can make North Myrtle stand out as more than a beach.
“It’s understanding what’s our capacity to host people, and how do we have a smart plan that drives visitation when we’re slow and need people here, and doesn’t necessarily always emphasize the peak season,” said Young.
Kilday says she hopes the study’s results will benefit everyone who live in or visits the city.
“We want to make sure that we go beyond just business sentiments,” she said. “Residents live here. They have a quality-of-life standard that they expect and we want to make sure we understand their perspective as well.”
There are two more workshops Thursday afternoon. The first will be held from 1:30 to 3 at city hall. The second will be held from 3:30 to 5 at the area historical museum on Second Avenue North. There will also be an online survey available soon.
The goal is to have a final strategic plan by July.