July 30--A Tennessee company is bidding to open a new family amusement park on the site of the Myrtle Beach Shrine Club.
The park would include an elevated go-kart track, bumper boats, a small train, an arcade and shop and a Ferris wheel, said Allison Hardin, planner for the city of Myrtle Beach. Eventually, the company hopes to open additional attractions that are geared to the Intracoastal Waterway, which the property abuts, according to a proposal it has submitted with Myrtle Beach.
The company will lease the land from the Shriners that stretches between U.S. 17 and the Intracoastal Waterway at the south end of Restaurant Row. The Shriners will be able to use the second story of the two-story building the company plans to build on the site, Hardin said.
"We've kind of always been interested in the area," said Carl Cook of the marketing department of The Track, a family recreation center in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
Cook noted that the Grand Strand's location within "a good drive" of millions of people makes the area a good location for the company's expansion.
The development would be done in three phases, with the first to be completed by June 15, 2016, the second Dec.31, 2016 and the third Dec. 31, 2020, according to the planning document.
The first phase would include a commercial building; the second, amusement uses; and the third, improvements along the waterway.
The Track in Pigeon Forge has a three-story spiral go-kart track plus another that features overpasses. It also has kiddie go-karts, bumper boats and a Ferris wheel.
Cook said The Track has been open 30 years in Pigeon Forge. About 20 years ago, he said, the company opened its second amusement park location in Destin, Fla.
The company has built arcades in other places, but Cook said the Myrtle Beach recreation center, as the company calls it, will be its third.
Hardin said the site encompasses 6.2 acres and the developer will be able to build on 75 percent of the land, including parking lots. Other areas of the city allow higher density, she said.
A public hearing on the proposal is scheduled for the Myrtle Beach Planning Commission meeting at 1:30 p.m.Aug. 19.
Cook said the company has not finalized the design of its building, which ultimately must be approved by Myrtle Beach's Community Appearance Board.
Contact STEVE JONES at 444-1765 or on Twitter @TSN_sjones.
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