Ripley’s in Myrtle Beach preparing for aquarium expansion, upgrades at other attractions

dbryant@thesunnews.comDecember 3, 2012 

Ripley Entertainment plans to expand its aquarium at Broadway at the Beach and overhaul its oldest attraction on Ocean Boulevard, the Believe It or Not museum.

Teams are still putting the finishing touches on the plans, so Craig Atkins, general manager of Ripley’s Attractions in Myrtle Beach, said Friday he didn’t have too many details to share.

“There’s a lot in the works but unfortunately not a lot I can say right now,” Atkins said.

Plans are to expand Ripley’s Aquarium at Broadway at the Beach, with construction starting after Labor Day next year and the expanded aquarium opening in time for the busy summer season in 2014. The attraction has room to grow at Broadway, with space in front of the aquarium and backing up to the lake, Atkins said.

But Atkins declined to say what exhibits are being considered to fill the additional space.

“It would be something completely new to the aquarium,” he said. “It is an expansion of the building, something completely new to Myrtle Beach.”

For next season starting in March, a new exhibit will replace the popular Dinosaurs display at the aquarium, but the details still are being finalized, Atkins said.

Ripley’s also is looking at its attractions along Ocean Boulevard in Myrtle Beach, particularly the Believe It or Not museum, which has operated there for decades.

“We are completely cooking up a renovation of the museum – inside and out,” Atkins said. “We are in the conceptual phase right now.”

Also on the Boulevard, Ripley’s operates the Haunted Adventure, Moving Theater and Mirror Maze.

Earlier this year, Ripley’s overhauled the technology in the Moving Theater.

“We are looking at all of our attractions down on the Boulevard,” Atkins said.

Ripley Entertainment, based in Orlando, Fla., has had a long history with Myrtle Beach that started with the Believe It or Not museum and has grown through the years. Myrtle Beach is a market Ripley’s is proud to be a player in, Atkins said.

“There’s a lot of promise here,” he said.

Contact DAWN BRYANT at 626-0296 or at dbryant@thesunnews.com or follow her at Twitter.com/TSN_dawnbryant.

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