Myrtle Beach Year-End Wrap-Up for 2015
Well, folks, another year has passed and 2016 is right around the corner. While we are excited that the New Year is upon us, we also have taken the time to kick back and think of all the awesome and crazy things that have happened in 2015 in Myrtle Beach. From cool events, new restaurants, strange news, and much, much more, 2015 definitely presented Myrtle Beach with a ton of stuff to talk about.
Here at MyrtleBeach.com, we took the time to think of some of the most attention grabbing news and happenings from the year. Check it out:
Myrtle Beach Named #1 Beach Destination for 2015
We were super thrilled to hear that Myrtle Beach was named the #1 Beach Destination for 2015 by Trivago.com! This isn't the first time that the city has won this title, and certainly won't be the last. According to Trivago.com, Myrtle Beach beat out the following cities to be #1: Virginia Beach, Ocean City, Miami Beach, Panama City Beach, Key West, Honolulu, Destin, Atlantic City, and Daytona Beach.
Debates over the "Days Like This" song
Earlier this year, the Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce started airing a tourism commercial that features beautiful video of the Myrtle Beach area. Along with the pretty scenery is a song called “Days Like This,” which is an positive, laid-back tune about visiting Myrtle Beach. While many people who have seen the commercial enjoy the song, others are completely annoyed by it, sparking debates as to whether or not the Chamber should use this song to draw visitors to the area. Alas, the song lives on in the commercial, but what are your thoughts? See the commercial here.
Photo: Screen shot from the commercial
Carolina Country Music Festival a Success
2015 marked the first ever Carolina Country Music Festival in Myrtle Beach. The festival took place beachfront along the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, and welcomed tens of thousands of fans over the course of three days for musical entertainment. The Carolina Country Music Festival proved to be extremely successful this year, with headliners like Eric Church, Lady Antebellum, Rascal Flats, and many, many more! Event organizers have already started planning for the <a href=”http://www.myrtlebeach.com/myrtle-beach-events/show/carolina-country-music-festival/”2016 festival</a>, which will include headliners such as Keith Urban, Tim McGraw, Florida Georgia Line, Cole Swindell, Jake Owen, A Thousand Horses, Michael Ray, and many more that have yet to be announced!
"1,000 Year Flood" Puts Myrtle Beach Underwater
When we first heard the term “1,000 year flood” when storms tragically struck South Carolina back in October, we weren't really sure what it meant. However, that term means that in any given year, there is 1 in 1000 chance that we would see rainfall on that scale. We sure did see a lot of rain, and thankfully, Myrtle Beach recovered gracefully from the floods. Our hearts go out to those who were affected by the disaster.
California Roots: Carolina Sessions Postponed
Myrtle Beach's first-ever major reggae festival was supposed to take place in October, however, California Roots: Carolina Sessions has to be postponed due to dangerous storms that hit the area in early October. Originally scheduled for October 3rd with headlining artists 311, Steel Pulse, and SOJA, the festival has been moved to April 9th. The headlining artists have changed for the new date, however. So far, it has been announced that 311 and SOJA will be the headlining acts, with many other reggae bands on the list as well.
Hilton Grand Ocean 22 Opens its Doors
This year, a new oceanfront property opened up in Myrtle Beach: Hilton Grand Ocean 22. This new timeshare hotel is the first newly built oceanfront property to open in the area in the past 7 years. This beautiful resort features 220 one, two, and three bedroom condos and a long list of on-site amenities.
Taxi Drivers vs. Uber in Myrtle Beach
2015 is the first year that Myrtle Beach welcomed Uber drivers to the area. While some people are very happy about Uber being in town, Myrtle Beach cab drivers are outraged. One major issue that has arised from this is that, at Myrtle Beach International Airport, cab drivers have to pay a monthly fee of $130 to sit outside and wait for passengers, but Uber drivers do not have to pay a fee. Also, cab drivers have to go through extensive background checks while Uber drivers do not. Currently, the airport is working on a plan to help “level out the playing field” for cab drivers and Uber drivers.
Record Year for Myrtle Beach International Airport
Earlier in the year, Allegiant Air announced that it was adding 5 new flights to Myrtle Beach from Akron-Canton, Ohio; Indianapolis, Indiana; Orlando from Orlando Sanford International Airport; Clarksburg, West Virginia; and Pittsburgh from Pittsburgh International Airport. These 5 new flights aided in bringing the Myrtle Beach National Airport record breaking numbers in May, June, and July. Overall, the year was very successful for the airport, and many more passengers came through the newly renovated airport in 2015 vs. 2014.
Shark Bites Cause Hysteria along the Grand Strand
This summer, the Carolina coast saw quite a few sharks in the water. In fact, between June and July there were 10 shark bites; 3 in South Carolina and 7 in North Carolina. The rising numbers of shark attacks concerned many people and kept swimmers out of the ocean. However, on average there are only about 0-3 shark bites per year along the North Carolina and South Carolina coasts, as well as the Grand Strand. Don't let the sharks scare you away next summer. Check out this awesome graphic to learn more behind the myths and facts concerning sharks in the Myrtle Beach area.
Food Trucks Allowed in Horry County
Yes; you read that correctly. This year, Horry County began allowing food trucks to park and sell delicious food to hungry people in Horry County. Though many people expected a surge of food trucks to flood the area, that didn't exactly happen. Instead, after the ordinance was passed in early May, it took until December for Horry County to see its first operating hot food truck. The food truck, called Stuff Your Face Street Eats, can be found in the parking lot of Palmetto Distillery.
Confederate Flag Debate Rages On in Myrtle Beach
This year we saw a huge push to remove Confederate flags from being flown, well, pretty much anywhere. However, the banning of the Confederate flag has led to a huge debate of whether or not people should have the right to fly it. In fact, some people were so passionate about their beliefs in Myrtle Beach that a fight was started on Ocean Boulevard when a man ripped a Confederate flag off of another man's truck in the middle of traffic. There was also a large Confederate flag rally that was held to support the flag. It seems, though, that there will always be two sides to this debate, trying to decide whether or not it is “right” or “wrong” to ban the flag entirely.
Myrtle Beach Pelicans Win Carolina League Championship
This September, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans won the Carolina League Championship. The Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Chicago Cubs beat out the Wilmington Blue Rockets 3-2. 2015 marked the 17th season for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, with it being the first year that they were affiliated with the Chicago Cubs.
City Bans Bars from Superblock
In October, the City of Myrtle Beach decided they wanted to make the area more “family-friendly,” so they placed a moratorium on the Superblock section of downtown Myrtle Beach. The moratorium bans any bar or club (businesses that sell mostly alcohol) from opening in the specified area in hopes to clean up crime incidents and bring in a friendlier crowd. Recently, though, officials have granted existing businesses along the Superblock to sell their businesses while the moratorium is in place.
Myrtle Beach to Install 800+ Cameras
This year, the City of Myrtle Beach has spent over $2.1 million dollars on a security project that entails installing over 800 surveillance cameras in the area. Since the announcement of this plan, cameras have been popping up all over the city, in places like beach accesses, busy streets, and intersections. While some may say that “Big Brother is Watching” others praise the cameras for success in helping with crime and other uses such as directing festival traffic.
Lucky Lotto Winners
It seems as if the Grand Strand was a lucky area this year. Within the past few months we witnessed three separate people from the area strike gold with winning lottery tickets. But we're not talking $20 scratch-offs here. In August, a $100,000 ticket was sold in Little River, a $400,000 ticket was sold in Little River in November, and another $100,000 ticket was sold in Myrtle Beach in December. Talk about good luck, huh?
Myrtle Beach's Brushes with Fame in 2015
Everyone loves Myrtle Beach–even celebrities! This year, Myrtle Beach received a lot of attention from famous people of all different backgrounds: actors, politicians, athletes, etc.
- Magic Mike XXL was filmed in Myrtle Beach and released this year
- Myrtle Beach was featured in a Big & Rich video
- The Weather Channel broadcasted from Myrtle Beach this summer
- Hotel Impossible returned to Myrtle Beach
- Flip My Food with Chef Jeff visited various restaurants in the area
- Paula Deen visited her new store at Broadway at the Beach
- Ronda Rousey attended Marine Ball in Myrtle Beach
- Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina, Rick Santorum, and Ben Carson all visited Myrtle Beach for their campaigns
- Ramon Sessions helped out families in need for Thanksgiving in Myrtle Beach
Changes at Broadway at the Beach
One of Myrtle Beach's favorite attractions, Broadway at the Beach, saw quite a few changes in 2015. While some places in the complex like MagiQuest, Carlos 'n' Charlie's, and Planet Hollywood closed down for good, others have moved to different locations. Many nightclubs like Country Roads Bar & Grill, Revoltions, and Club Boca have been closed and it is unclear whether or not they will be reopening. But some places, like Hard Rock Cafe and Broadway Louies, are in the process of moving. Broadway Louies has already closed its doors and moved a few doors down from its original location, and Hard Rock Cafe is talking about tearing down their iconic pyramid to move in to Broadway Louie's old location. So what will be built in Hard Rock Cafe's place? There have been rumors flying around that a Dave and Buster's may be filling in the empty spot.
Places that Closed in 2015
In addition to the shakeup at Broadway at the Beach which included Planet Hollywood and Magiquest, there are other places that closed as well. Among these closed businesses are the Myrtle Beach Flea Market (now the Grand Strand Vendor Mall), Waterway Hills Golf Club, Bliss Restaurant, Harold's on the Beach, and more.
New Places to Shop
While some places closed in the area, many new businesses opened their doors. In 2015, many new places to shop have been introduced to the area, including: H&M at Coastal Grand Mall, Paula Deen Store at Broadway, Gander Mountain in Carolina Forest, Carolina Pottery, Publix, and more. There is also on-going growth at the Coastal North Town Center, which will soon be home to World of Beer, Aspen Dental, and Mattress Firm.
New Restaurants in the Area
Myrtle Beach apparently LOVES food, because, this year, we saw a ton of new restaurants opening in the area. These restaurants include: Z’s Amazing Kitchen in North Myrtle Beach, Nacho Hippo at Barefoot Landing, Sugar Life Ice Cream & Candy Bar in Myrtle Beach, Drafts Sports Bar in Myrtle Beach, The Chemist in downtown Myrtle Beach, Tupelo Honey Cafe at The Market Common, ART Burger & Sushi downtown, Grumpy Monk in Carolina Forest, True BBQ new location by Coastal Grand Mall, Mason Jar Deli & Market in Conway, Shawarma Co. Mediterranean Grill in Carolina Forest, Crave Italian Restaurant in Myrtle Beach, Ninas Hibachi in Carolina Forest, and McMahon’s Irish Pub in Little River.
New Attractions around the Grand Strand
Along with restaurants, a bunch of cool new attractions opened up around the Grand Strand in 2015. Among these attractions are:
Odd Myrtle Beach News from 2015
In addition to all of the “normal” news around the beach, there were also some stories in 2015 that stuck out like a sore thumb. Check them out:
- Ocean Oddity Washes Ashore in Pawleys Island: Back in July, a man named D.Manning Bernstein and his wife visited Pawleys Island where they snapped a photo of a strange sea creature washed up on the shore. The South Carolina Aquarium believes that it is a “Northern Stargazer.”
- Woman Tells Police Jesus is Paying for Her Buffet: Police were called to a local seafood buffet when a woman who owed $26 for her meal wouldn't fork over the money. When the police asked her how she intended to pay for the meal, she claimed that Jesus would cover it for her. She was arrested for defrauding the restaurant.
- Stripper Assaults Man After Being Called Fat: Back in November, a man who admitted to being “11 out of 10” on an intoxication scale told a stripper to “go to the gym and lose weight.” The stripper's reaction? She reached down and hit the man in the face four times. He has since filed a police report.
- YouTube Documentary “AMERICAN REFLEXXX” Filmed on Ocean Boulevard: This is really just a strange video of a scantily clad woman with a reflective metallic mask getting reactions from passerbys on Ocean Boulevard. The creators claim that the video was a “social experiment,” but we'll let you be the judge.