MYRTLE BEACH — Myrtle Beach will not be the new the site of the Ironman Triathlon as officials had hoped, losing out to Chattanooga, Tenn.
Pete Politis, a member of the Myrtle Beach Triathlon Club who also worked with the city to enter the bid, told Myrtle Beach City Council they did not win the bid to host the event during a workshop Tuesday. Ironman Triathlon announced the winner Thursday.
“We selected Chattanooga as it is a beautiful city and a premier outdoor sports destination,” Ironman CEO Andrew Messick said in a press release.
Politis, who also owns Hot Stacks Pancake House, said representatives told him they would have liked to bring the event to Myrtle Beach, but a change from having the swimming portion of the race in the ocean instead of in the Intracoastal Waterway made the race less desirable.
The city applied in April and initially planned to submit a $40,000 bid fee, though no fee ended up being submitted with the bid.
“We prefer to make proposals such as this contingent upon the event actually taking place in our destination,” said Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Brad Dean. The chamber handled submitting the bid.
Dan Berglund, a spokesman with Ironman Triathlon, told The Sun News in April there was no official “bid fee” included with the application, but city manager Tom Leath said those trying to land sports events typically include money with the bid.
Dean said a “bid fee” typically is not an up-front commitment of cash.
“It’s usually a commitment to provide some sort of financial support, usually in terms of marketing, upon completion of agreed-upon terms,” he said.
Politis told council he hopes to be able to work with the organization to bring the Ironman 70.3 – half the length of the Ironman event – to Myrtle Beach sometime in the future.
In the meantime, City Council approved a special event permit Tuesday allowing Politis to host the Surf & Turf Triathlon Myrtle Beach on Sept. 13. The event would start and end at Plyler Park in downtown Myrtle Beach with triathletes swimming in the ocean, biking on Ocean Boulevard and running laps on the boardwalk and the beach.
To register or get more information the Surf & Turf event, visit http://bit.ly/14gqaOv.
Contact MAYA T. PRABHU at 444-1722 or follow her at Twitter.com/TSN_MPrabhu.