At’s 2015, and in the words of Bob Dylan (and later Phil Collins), the times they are a-changin’.
No, we don’t have hover boards yet. The Cubs haven’t won a World Series, and we certainly don’t have Jaws 19 in 3D (come on, Universal, get it together).
For quite some time now, Myrtle Beach has been in a period of transition, a transition that sees the city steering even more toward tourism and the goal of making the Grand Strand a premiere family destination in the southeast.
For the most part, nothing major changed on the Grand Strand but there are plenty of new things Myrtle Beach DOES have, and we’ve compiled that list for you below (in no particular order).
OH, HO, HO IT’S MAGIC
It can safely be said that magic is one of the BEST THINGS EVER.
“Deception” is a Vegas-style show that has something for everyone: clean comedy, magic, romance and mystery. Carl Michael and his assistants give a 60- to 90-minute journey you will never forget.
“Up Close” is mind-blowing magic and slight of hand artistry that not many magicians are capable of performing. Cards, coins, props, and the unreal become reality.
“Solo Stand-Up” is a professionally scripted act of mentalism and classy magic for all ages. “The Wonders of the Sands” is a musical piece that will take you on a journey and “Epic” will predict the UNTHINKABLE. Also witness Houdini’s Straight Jacket Escape performed with a twist.
As 2015 settles in, a bevy of changes are coming to Coastal Grand Mall, changes which include stores throughout the mall doing some redecorating, store relocations and other closings.
New York & Company is leaving the 1.3 million-square-foot shopping center, as well as Kirkland’s. Both stores are associated with a new 20,000-square-foot store that clothier H+M will move into later this year.
Aeropostale and Wet Seal, two of the stores that haven’t renewed leases at the mall, are having financial struggles and are closing stores nationwide, according to Bloomberg News. Delia’s, another clothier that will leave Coastal Grand, has declared bankruptcy.
The mall’s Hallmark shop is closing, and Gemini Boutique closed at the end of last year. Dairy Queen also has left the mall, said Steve McGhee, Coastal Grand’s general manager.
Other stores in the cluster of space H+M will occupy — Justice, Foot Locker, Mrs. Fields and Cache — will move to new locations to make room for the store, which McGhee said is a major new tenant that he estimates will open its new Coastal Grand store around the first of October.
CRUISING THE LOOP
The loop will see some big changes in 2015.
No, not that loop.
Myrtle Beach originally proposed a 40-mile traffic loop during Memorial Day weekend that would send traffic from Ocean Boulevard onto Kings Highway, south to S.C. 544, west to S.C. 31, north to S.C. 22, east to U.S. 17 and back south to Myrtle Beach.
Instead, Grand Strand officials have tentatively agreed to a 23-mile traffic loop that will operate overnight during Memorial Day weekend.
That loop will route drivers from George Bishop Parkway to Waccamaw Boulevard, which runs next to U.S. 501, onto S.C. 31 heading north to Grissom Parkway south, then onto U.S. 17 Bypass and down 29th Avenue North.
Tens of thousands of people are on the Grand Strand that weekend to participate in Atlantic Beach Bikefest, Myrtle Beach Military Appreciation Days or to enjoy a three-day weekend at the beach. Bikefest began in Atlantic Beach in the 1980s but festival-goers now spill out along the Grand Strand.
More about this story here.
NORTH SIDE SHOPPING
The 348,000-square-foot Coastal North Shopping Center broke ground in October, and continues to grow. Dick’s
Sporting Goods and Publix are two of the more popular venues that have made their home at Coastal North, and the shopping center houses 10 restaurants including Chipotle Mexican Grill, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit and Which Wich.
Other stores include Super Cuts, Lee Nails, Coastal North Vision Center, McAlister’s Deli, Mattress Firm, Heartland Dental, Fashion Boutique and Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ‘n’ Biscuits.
The Carolina Forest community will welcome Gander Mountain this year, an outdoors store that features hunting, fishing and camping accessories.
Gander Mountain’s newest store will feature selections of new and used firearms, together with a selection of gear and accessories for hunting, fishing, camping, boating and archery.
Customers will have access to Gander Mountain’s selection of new and used firearms around the country, whether the firearms are located at other stores, in central distribution facilities or on Gander Mountain’s market-leading online store.
The store will offers an extensive selection of men’s and women’s active performance outdoor and casual apparel featuring exciting brands like The North Face, Columbia, Under Armour, GSX, Carhartt, Guide Series and Kühl, and a wide variety of men’s and women’s active footwear featuring brands like Asics, Merrell, Rocky, Reebok, Reef, Keen, Irish Setter, Teva, New Balance, Patagonia, Timberland, LaCrosse, Itasca, Saucony and Salomon.
Wine aficionados, grape enthusiasts, it’s coming, so you can all calm down and follow the advice of a very famous kindergarten teacher.
On the contrary, North Myrtle Beach is about to START wining, with the addition of Duplin Winery, a North Carolina-based winery located on Interstate 40 about 50 miles northwest of Wilmington, N.C.
The winery, projected to open in 2015, will reside right next to Alligator Adventure on U.S. 17 in North Myrtle Beach near Barefoot Landing.
The winery gets more than 100,000 visitors a year in North Carolina, its website said, and it is anticipated that the North Myrtle Beach store could be a destination attraction and that people who visit the winery will spend more money at other Grand Strand businesses.
GO APE TREETOP ADVENTURES
For those of you that have always dreamed of swinging from the trees like Tarzan, grab your loin cloths.
The Go Ape Treetop Adventures park, located in the new North Myrtle Beach Park and Sports Complex, includes five zip lines, including one that crosses a lake and is 900 feet long, several rope ladders, and two Tarzan swings. It spans six acres and takes about two to three hours to complete.
This is the seventh ropes course for Go Ape, with locations across the Northeast and Midwest. Similar adventure attractions in the area include the ziplines that can be found at Adrenaline Adventures in downtown Myrtle Beach and at Wonder Works at Broadway at the Beach.
Children as young as 10 are invited to participate, so long as they are at least 4-feet-7-inches tall, and adults cannot weigh more than 285 pounds. For those of you that have been around a little longer than others, worry not – an 84-year-old woman has gone through the course with her grandchildren, so if you start to chicken out, just remember that.
The company also plans to construct a Treetop Junior course for children ages 4 to 12 and at least 3-feet-3-inches tall.