The most impressive part of the North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce’s five-year growth plan is not the plan to diversify the North Strand economy or the push to improve marketing of North Myrtle Beach. It’s not even the focus on sustainable development or its admirable commitment to financial accountability.
All of those are remarkable and worthy of note. But the most impressive part of the Building North Myrtle Beach initiative is that it’s being driven by the private sector.
Faced with a downturn in the economy and a region with great potential but stagnant growth, the North Myrtle Beach chamber turned not to government or taxpayers for help but to local businesses. And the response has been even better than anticipated.
What had been a goal of raising $2.5 million over five years has already been reached, and leaders are now planning for $3.5 million. That includes pledges to the campaign by individual business owners, but a centerpiece of the effort is a voluntary marketing co-op of hoteliers and vacation rental owners who have added $1 per night to their room rates. The money raised (now about $400,000 a year and rising) will be used to market North Myrtle Beach to would-be visitors.
Marketing is a vital component of any business. Tourism, the backbone of our local economy, is no exception, and the exposure this money will buy is a smart investment by those putting it up.
North Myrtle Beach leaders are to be commended for not only getting this project up and running, but building it organically, from the ground up, with private support. The list of business leaders signed on as cabinet members of the campaign is impressive and shows backing from some of the largest employers not only in North Myrtle Beach but in Horry County.
The campaign’s slogan is a quote commonly attributed to management consultant Peter Drucker: “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” North Myrtle Beach leaders have certainly taken that philosophy to heart. The passion of chamber CEO Marc Jordan for the project is obvious and apparently contagious, as he rallies the community to a better tomorrow. With more businesses signing on month by month, we see good things ahead for North Myrtle Beach.