NORTH MYRTLE BEACH — Tuesday was the day the public could make comments about the proposed sports complex in North Myrtle Beach, but only one turned out.
However, the comments were pretty much positive for a complex that city officials hope will take North Myrtle Beach beyond simply a summer resort and provide it with year-round economic benefits. It’s expected to open in March 2014.
At Tuesday’s brief meeting of the North Myrtle Beach Planning Commission, area resident Shannon Fries offered such suggestions as creating shaded or covered areas, making sure dugouts have electricity and having the pond, a natural resource, be used for non-motorized boating.
A local parent who travels frequently with her children, who are involved in youth sports, Fries said these traveling leagues enjoy traveling to the beach.
“You want to be a place that people do want to travel to,” she said.
Fries said her remarks were simply minor suggestions to help the planners. She counts herself as quite impressed with the plan that’s been put together.
“We look forward to it,” Fries said.
Her comments will go toward the city council, which is currently involved with the planning commission in reviewing the plans for the complex.
Included in the plans are space for a water park.
The combination of the sports complex and the thrill of the water park are a package that officials in North Myrtle Beach hope will stimulate the city’s economy year round.
The lease will designate a 5 to 7 acre space for the approximately $26 million water park at the back of the complex near the soccer fields and will likely include provisions for the city to operate the park in the event the developers default on their investment.
John Bullard, director of North Myrtle Beach Parks and Recreation, said the hope is to one day install a zipline in the sports complex.
Commission member Rob Kayton asked Bullard if there were any plans for installing camping facilities.
Bullard said they’d hoped to put in spots for recreational vehicles, but there simply wasn’t enough space.
Still, the general consensus at Tuesday’s meeting was the sports complex is going to be a welcome addition to the North Myrtle Beach area.
“We’re talking about big time right here,” said commission Chairman D.P. “Pat” Nobles.
Contact BRAD DICKERSON at 626-0301.