Business leaders and elected officials from Horry County often point out how important our local economy is to the overall state economy. Legislators from around the state know that Horry County is helping pay for the projects their constituents depend on. So, with the help of our Business Intelligence Officer, we crunched the numbers. There’s no need to speculate, Horry County is the engine for the state’s economy. Here are the facts:
When proponents of Interstate 73 talk about our area’s need for interstate access, it’s easy to focus on the obvious economic benefits, but the interstate will also bring much needed diversification to our tourism-based economy, with more year-round jobs for residents. It will also boost our tourism industry by 7.1 percent, which translates into an additional $909.9 million direct tourism spending in the Myrtle Beach area.
South Carolinians have grown accustom to waiting years, sometimes decades, for infrastructure projects to become a reality. The timeline from when a new road concept is designed to when the first car drives on the fresh asphalt is long, complex and redundant. It doesn’t have to be this way. We can balance growth and new infrastructure projects with protecting precious natural resources in a timely manner. This past Spring, the South Carolina General Assembly and Governor McMaster did just that by passing S 105 into law. This legislation, known as “automatic stay reform,” will help pave the way for new infrastructure projects to move forward in a timely fashion, while giving appropriate legal consideration to environmental concerns.
U.S. Census Bureau information indicates that for the third year in a row, the Grand Strand was the second-fastest growing metropolitan area in the entire country. Yearlong residents and visitors alike have no-doubt experienced some of those growing pains, but it hasn’t deterred people from coming to our destination for their vacation, or from calling the Grand Strand home. In fact, 45 people move to the Myrtle Beach area every day, according to the same Census Bureau information. In 2017, the Myrtle Beach area had 19.6 million visitors – up from a little over 18 million in 2016.
The 60 miles of pristine beaches and white sand that make up the Grand Strand are our most important and treasured resource. As such, the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce and our local elected delegation, understand the importance of protecting and preserving our number one attraction. These beaches support our local economy and bring millions of tourists to the Grand Strand year-after-year. Our beaches also serve as a barrier to protect over $3.5 billion worth of oceanfront property and provide a habitat to sea turtles, shore birds and marine wildlife.