MYRTLE BEACH — The Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corp. cast a hook to the water Wednesday with the unveiling of a kiosk designed to lure business officials at the general aviation terminal at Myrtle Beach International Airport.
The kiosk is a multi-media setup that allows users to get information on Horry County’s business attractions and opportunities, email EDC officials that they want more information, program a code into their cellphones or iPads that will link them to the EDC website and, eventually, a camera that connects the user with a person at the EDC for a face-to-face conversation.
The kiosk also has a cellphone charging station and will track the number of users and the times that they used it.
EDC officials don’t know yet how many people to expect to interface with the kiosk, but Brad Lofton, EDC CEO, said if he gets one or two inquiries a month, he’ll be pleased. One solid prospect a year could easily pay for programming and setting up the kiosk.
The kiosk cost $17,500 from start to finish, said Candace Howell, EDC marketing director. Of that, $15,000 came from a grant to the EDC from the North Eastern Strategic Alliance, a multi-county economic development group. The remaining $2,500 was paid through an S.C. Power Team grant, Howell said.
Officials at the general aviation terminal said there’s no way to give a monthly average of the private, business airplanes that use the facility which is across the runway from the airport’s main passenger terminal. They say that the general aviation terminal is sporadically busy and that, easily, the annual flights using it number in the hundreds.
Howell, Lofton and other EDC officials hope that company presidents, senior administrative staff and others will use the kiosk as they are waiting for flights to take off or ground transportation after they have landed.
The EDC is already thinking that a similar terminal may be set up in the main passenger terminal, but have made no final decision on it. While it may hook some prospects there, most of the people its aiming for likely would use the general aviation terminal.
“More CEOs fly through this terminal than the other,” Lofton said.
Contact STEVE JONES at 444-1765.