Myrtle Beach finds a use for old Pavilion site

Pavilion farewell messageAs an annual visitor to the Myrtle Beach area in South Carolina (a very beautiful state, I might add) I try to keep up with what’s going on there, at least concerning things  we like to do when visiting.  Several years ago, the Myrtle Beach Pavilion was shut down after decades of delighting not only the locals, but vacationers like myself and my family.  The Pavilion was a small amusement park that took up a block in downtown Myrtle Beach.  It was clean, had quite a few rides and attractions and one hell of a wooden rollercoaster.  Apparently, however, there were/are some really cranky people running Myrtle Beach who thought the Pavilion was an eyesore and attracted the ‘wrong crowd.’  Apparently, families and teenagers are the wrong crowd since they are the ones I saw there every time I went. So, city council set about to run the Pavilion out of the city.  At least, this is my interpretation of what was going on.  City council wanted the area so that more upscale development could take place and the city could then attract a better group of vacationers: those with LOTS and LOTS of disposable income.  The idea of being the every person’s vacation spot must not appeal to those in charge.  They detest it so much that this past year they took steps to keep a couple of motorcycle oriented events away from the area.  Heaven forbid people should come there and spend.

So, once the park was closed and demolished, plans were announced that would not only bring said upscale Hurricane rollercoaster development to the area, but would also introduce a few amusement park like attractions, with one plan calling for a rollercoaster that would be integrated into the development.  One of the many plans bandied about almost got off the ground with a developer being retained.  The developer, though, was shady and, after a few scandals, the plan was shelved.  Now, three years later, the land sits empty with only some rubble that was left when the Pavilion was destroyed.

This week, the city unveiled its latest grand scheme for the land:  outdoor concerts and festivals.  The city has leased the land from Burroughs and Chapin for public use.  Yep.  Concerts and festivals.  I wonder what kind of people they will attract.  Certainly not the type to swill down seven dollar coffees and wear eighty dollar shirts. Nice.

Pavilion Nostalgia ParkThe remnants of the Pavilion can be found in a few places.  The wonderful and historic carousel, the swinging pirate ship and a few kiddie rides are now at B&C’s Broadway at the Beach shopping and entertainment complex in a small area called the Pavilion Nostalgic Park.  The trains from the wooden rollercoaster are being used by the Kings Island theme park on the Son of Beast rollercoaster (which is currently not operating.)  Other rides from the park have been sold while many were just destroyed.  Like the haunted house and that wooden rollercoaster, which was pretty new  and cost millions to build.

Myrtle Beach is an area of contrasts and is an enigma to me.  You can ride down beach road and see well maintained and thriving areas and then, the next block looks like all hell broke loose while yet the next is clean and looks nice.  If they truly want to make a great impression, they really need to fix the real issues they have instead of tearing down the few things that would bring some enjoyment.

At least the Family Kingdom is still there.  I suppose the city has some grand scheme for it as well.  Oh, and there’s still LOTS and LOTS of mini golf.

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3 thoughts on “Myrtle Beach finds a use for old Pavilion site

  1. Wasn’t “Shag” dance and music pretty much invented at the Pavilion? Couldn’t they at least preserve it for that, I mean does Myrtle Beach have so much history that they can just discard this amazing place? My memories from all the decades (starting from the 60’s) meant I used to always vacation there, well not anymore. I would imagine the town was probably salivating over all the new tax revenue they were promised from the condo or hotel developers that backed out. What a waste. I hardly recognize the area anymore, what reason do I have to go back? Absolutely none. GONE is that charming neon lit quaint little area, there was magic about it, the sound of the surf and the squeals from the roller coaster, the music from the carousel, the history. I simply loved it. It was sweet and familiar and I was sentimental enough about it to have taken my family there for years. Now it’s erased forever, for nothing. That’s what I call a waste.

  2. I have just return from the worst vacation ever. As a child and teenager, I always looked forward to going to Myrtle Beach every year. I knew I would have more fun here than most kids could imagine. Myrtle Beach had it all, the sun, the beach, the pools, the go karts, great food, cotton candy, waterslides, and my very favorite place the Pavilion.

    I am now 42 years old and have my own family that I wanted to share the same experiences with. When I arrived at the Beach, I am thinking, I must be lost. Where is the old Pavilion, where are all the old hotels and great restaurants. Everything has changed to more of a corporate type takeover of the hotels and restaurants. Most of the fun has been taken away from Myrtle Beach for kids. I will not be returning to Myrtle Beach anytime soon.

    • We had been going down for quite some time as well. The Pavilion closing one of the breaking points for us as well. I followed the thing for awhile and just saw greed as a motivating factor. The restaurants we liked bit the dust too. Ocean City, MD is our new vacation beach.

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