North Myrtle Beach hits a home run with its new Park & Sports Complex
It’s 6:30 a.m. and the lights are on at the new North Myrtle Beach Park & Sports Complex. Ball players from around the country are arriving to start their warm-ups, exercise enthusiasts are getting an early start on the walking trails and folks are playing Frisbee with their canine companions. This is what Mayor Marilyn Hatley and the City Council envisioned when they were developing the idea six years ago.
“The complex has created economic growth, increased tourism and provided a recreational resource for our local residents. It is the greatest addition in many years and it will continue to grow,” says Mayor Hatley. It provides activities for the entire family on the 145-acre tract of land.
“The idea was to extend the tourist season to this area and right now we have the ball fields booked right up to Christmas,” says city manager Mike Mahaney.
Currently, the complex offers the following amenities:
• 4 regulation youth baseball/collegiate softball fields
• 2 regulation high school/collegiate baseball fields which can be transformed into regulation youth baseball/collegiate softball fields
• 8 regulation soccer/lacrosse fields
• 8 batting tunnels
Tournaments are booked into December for baseball, softball, soccer, lacrosse and flag football. Concession stands sell beverages and snacks.
There are more than 3 miles of walking trails that meander around the 25-acre fishing lake, through the meadow and past the amphitheater.
Even Fido has a place to play in the park. After all, he is a part of the family, isn’t he? Two fenced play areas are available for dogs to run loose—one for large dogs and another for small. Each area is about two acres with plenty of grass and just enough trees. The facility also offers “Beg”ucation workshops from 5:30–7 p.m. on June 3 and July 1. These are free obedience/training sessions for dogs and their masters.
Three colorful playgrounds are in the park, each one with an assortment of swings, tubes, slides and every type of climbing contraption you can imagine. They are clearly marked with the age range recommended for those areas.
There are two small and one large covered picnic areas with a combined 27 picnic tables and three large grills.
Amphitheatre and Meadow
A gentle, grassy incline is spread in front of the state-of-the-art amphitheatre where music and theater events are currently being scheduled for the summer. The meadow is a 10-acre grassy area located in the center of the park and has already been slated for evenings of “drive-in movies” complete with a portable big screen.
Complete schedules of events can be found on the website www.parks.nmb.us. You can also contact Matt Gibbons, Superintendent of Sports Tourism and Athletics, at (843) 281-3800.