Myrtle Beach could be home to an Asian-themed attraction if the developers can find a place to build the venue.
Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes and representatives with GL Enterprise Inc. and Pace Inc. announced plans Thursday for Asian Wonder Land, a venue showcasing the Asian culture that aims to open May 28 in Myrtle Beach.
The venue, which officials said would cost between $15 million and $20 million to build, would include a mix of tents and permanent buildings with a lantern display, performance stages and other components. Tickets would cost about $100 for a family of four or about $25 a person, though exact ticket prices are still being determined, officials said during a news conference at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center.
Officials are still working out other key components -- including where in Myrtle Beach the venue would be built. A press kit said the attraction would be located on the former Myrtle Square Mall site -- about 60 vacant acres off Oak Street across from the Myrtle Beach Convention Center -- but officials said that they haven’t yet reached an agreement with Burroughs & Chapin Co. Inc., which owns the land.
“As with any company that brings investment and jobs to Myrtle Beach, Burroughs & Chapin Co. Inc. welcomes Asian Wonder Land. We hope that they are successful wherever they choose to locate in Myrtle Beach,” B&C Spokeswoman Lei Gainer said in an email, declining to give further details.
The attraction needs about 35 acres and is looking at three sites in Myrtle Beach, with the former mall site being the preferred spot, said Marvin Heyd, broker in charge at Prudential Myrtle Beach Real Estate who is working with the developers to find a location.
“This [city] is where it’s going to be,” Heyd said. “We’ve just got to land the right location.”
Despite the uncertainty over the location, Rhodes said he was confident this venue would open and it would be an asset to Myrtle Beach, giving tourists another option and showcasing Asian culture to students. The developers approached Myrtle Beach with the idea about two years ago after searching for the right place to build the attraction, officials said. The city isn’t putting any money into the project, Rhodes said.
“I hope we are able to take advantage of this opportunity,” Rhodes said. “There are just a lot of doors that could open....This is going to happen. We are always looking for new ways and new things to promote tourism. This would be gigantic.”
The venue would start by operating during the summer, but officials said they were optimistic that demand would lead to extending into the shoulder seasons.
The developers picked Myrtle Beach for this project because of its strong tourism industry and reputation as a golf capital, said Sung Kwon, president and CEO of GL Enterprise Inc.
“[Attendees] will experience Asia,” he said through an interpreter. “They will learn about Asian culture.”
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