‘Seems like a win’: Two popular Myrtle Beach campgrounds could remain open with new lease

Two popular Myrtle Beach campgrounds could continue to remain in operation if city officials sign off on a new lease.

Myrtle Beach city leaders passed the first reading of a pair of ordinances that would approve a proposed five-year lease for Lakewood Camping Resort and Pirateland Family Camping Resort. The campgrounds are located adjacent to each other on South Kings Highway.

The leases, which would start next February and expire in 2025, don’t include any extension rights.

“This seems like a win for everyone,” councilman Gregg Smith said at Tuesday’s Myrtle Beach City Council meeting.

Pirateland Resort in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Josh Bell jbell@thesunnews.com

The base rent for each location will increase from $120,000 per year to $160,000. Other changes include a 2 percent increase in concessions and amusements from 14 percent to 16 percent, villa rentals going from 17 percent to 18 percent, and gross campground receipts seeing a slight hike from 25 percent to 28.5 percent.

Based on the changes, officials said they expect to see a 16 percent increase in revenue for the city from both campgrounds in 2021. The campgrounds each currently bringing in over $1.3 million in revenue, officials said.

Officials added that the leases are not an extension of the campground’s previous lease, but a proposed action that terminates and replaces them with a new agreement.

“The existing agreement had been modified so many times that it’s a little bit hard to follow,” City Manager John Pedersen said. “So we just thought we’d simplify this whole thing.”

Lakewood Camping Resort in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Josh Bell jbell@thesunnews.com

Tenants will be responsible for all campground-related expenses and maintenance and will take on liability for any claims attributable to campground operations, according to the ordinances.

Additionally, while the entire campground includes privately owned properties, the new agreement includes only the city-owned parcels. Pedersen said the proposed lease wouldn’t affect any land that is separately or privately owned on either campground.

Both properties were conveyed to Myrtle Beach from the U.S. government in 1948 and have been leased to Ponderosa, Inc and used for campground purposes since 1990, Pedersen said.

Officials are scheduled to vote on the second reading at their Sept. 5 workshop meeting.

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Anna Young is the Coastal Cities reporter for The Sun News covering anything and everything that happens locally. Young, an award-winning journalist who got her start reporting local news in New York, is dedicated to upholding the values of journalism by listening, learning, seeking out the truth and reporting it accurately. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from SUNY Purchase College.