County giving go-ahead to 50 mph go-karts and ‘unprecedented’ water slide

Pictured is the location of the new go-kart facility at the former Black Bear Golf Club on Highway 9.
Pictured is the location of the new go-kart facility at the former Black Bear Golf Club on Highway 9.

County council paved the way for a new go-kart track and ATV facility Tuesday.

The council passed the second reading of a rezoning request necessary for the Longs-area track, meaning council will have to vote one more time before approving it.

The 196-acre complex would be located on the former Black Bear Golf Club on Highway 9 in the Longs area.

The new facility would include a campground facility for RVs and host regional racing events on two tracks with spectator stands beneath a 10-foot berm.

“We’re going to have two professional level karting tracks,” said Steve Powell with developer Venture Engineering. “The ride-and-drive track where you and your friend or anyone else could go and enter a race. Those are karts that have top speeds of 45, 50 miles-an-hour. These are not go-karts in Myrtle Bach, these are racing karts.

“The second track would be dedicated for professionals,” he said. “It’s a little over a mile, about 5,600 feet.”

The proposed outdoor recreation park would keep the golf cart trails in place for bike and ATV use, and turn the clubhouse into a bar and restaurant.

The project would also include a water feature – giant slide launches into a man-made pond.

“The water park is actually going to have a slide that’s unprecedented in this area,” Powell said. “You get to the bottom of the slide and it launches you into the air and you sail through the air 40 or 50 feet.”

The go-kart track open to the general public could be open by the fall of 2018 or spring of 2019, Powell said.

At least one person doesn’t want it.

“The noise level is probably within what the county specified but it will be an annoying level,” said Steve Porter, who lives across the road from the proposed facility. “I’m looking at the increase traffic flow. I think it will degrade my quality of life.”

Christian Boschult: 843-626-0218, @TSN_Christian