NORTH MYRTLE BEACH — Shirley Dahmer has taken her dog Starfish to the dog park at the new North Myrtle Beach Park and Sports Complex every day since the facility opened Saturday.
“I like it a lot and I’m glad that it opened – obviously if I came every day,” she said as she and her goldendoodle braved chilly temperatures at the park Tuesday afternoon. “I wasn’t sure if anyone would be here. I’m not sure I’ll stay long, but I looked at the weather and it’s supposed to rain the next three days.”
Dahmer, a North Myrtle Beach resident, was one of about seven dog owners Tuesday afternoon at the large-dog park a portion of the 160-acre complex that city spokesman Pat Dowling said has been very popular in the park’s first few days open.
In addition to the two dog parks – one for large dogs and one for small dogs – and ballfields, the complex offers eight soccer/lacrosse fields, eight batting cages, six picnic shelters, three playgrounds, three miles of walking trails, concession stands and restrooms, a 10-acre meadow, a stocked lake and a 2,000-seat amphitheater.
The complex welcomed the first athletes to its six ballfields Monday for the Fastpitch Dreams Spring Classic, where 17 teams participated in the weeklong softball tournament.
Dan Staggers traveled to North Myrtle Beach with his daughter, Callie Staggers, who is a sophomore at University of Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio. He said he and his family have vacationed in the Grand Strand before, but this was the first time they traveled to the area for sports.
“It’s a nice park, a nice facility,” he said. “We drove around the soccer fields and saw the rest of the park. … When it’s all done it will be really nice.”
Dowling said the finishing touches would be put on the complex – where he said several hundred visited Monday – during the next few days..
“At one point we had about 100 people using the playground,” he said. “The playground was a huge hit. The dog parks have been a huge hit.”
Maureen Zadany of Longs said she was glad to have a dog park closer to home during her first visit to the North Myrtle Beach complex Tuesday.
“Now I don’t have to take him down to Myrtle Beach to take him to a dog park,” she said of her golden retriever, Hunter. “This location is great for us.”
Zadany said she would visit the Myrtle Beach Barc Parc North, near the Claire Chapin Epps Family YMCA on 62nd Avenue North Extension.
“We didn’t go often,” he said. “It was too far. We’ll be back here though.”
Dahmer, who lives in Crescent Beach, said she was excited to use the rest of the park.
“The park is awesome,” she said. “I will definitely come here a bunch. I will use the other parts of it, too.”
Contact MAYA T. PRABHU at 444-1722 or follow her at Twitter.com/TSN_MPrabhu.