A Boardwalk is as ridiculous as an Ice Rink. . .

December 24, 2012


The following is a post made on our Facebook Page by a gentleman named John Marino – Thanks John!

A Boardwalk is as ridiculous as an Ice Rink. . .

By John Marino

Funny – there was similar resistance and widespread reluctance to go forward with building a “boardwalk” in Myrtle Beach. Sometimes the most obvious and simple ideas can have simply amazing results. The Boardwalk in Myrtle Beach has been an incredible success. In a similar manner, Myrtle Beach could benefit greatly from the addition of an indoor ice facility from both a visitor/tourism perspective and from a recreational standpoint for our growing population. Think about it:

Myrtle Beach Boardwalk

Not very long ago, on a cold January evening in 2011, I was joined by over 300 other spectators in what is now the Market Commons outdoor roller hockey rink to watch our very own Coastal Carolina University Roller Hockey Team face off against the University of South Carolina USC. The game was dubbed – “The Southern Classic” – taken from the “NHL Winter Classic” game held on New Year’s Day – which in its inaugural year (2008) drew more than 71,000 fans to an outdoor arena in near blizzard conditions. An auspicious start indeed for both the NHL version of the game, and for Myrtle Beach’s.

While many of those in attendance that evening were veteran ice hockey fans from more northern climes, there were many more locals from Myrtle Beach and our surrounding areas seeking a family night out and to just see what hockey was all about. And they were certainly not disappointed.

The demolition and rebuilding of the Market Commons roller hockey outdoor rink is yet another example of our local government’s great intentions in supporting recreational hockey. However, it was fatally flawed in its design and execution, resulting in an attractive facility that is often unusable for skating. Our typical high beach humidity overtakes evening temperature drops – and results in condensation that makes the rink surface wet. Furthermore, the asphalt-based construction of the rink – in an apparent attempt to provide drainage – was greatly raised in the center. The disappointing performance result was not surprising to those who have watched or played hockey. A puck shot in a straight line just will not travel that way on a surface with a raised center. That is also not an optimal surface for skating – or for playing any sort of sport hockey. But, hey – it does look nice. Perhaps some better research and planning – up front – could have resulted in a different design and resulted in better performance and better use of this facility.

Now, enter the prospect of an ice skating facility in Myrtle Beach; With catalysts of local Myrtle Beach business proponents, with the business savvy to investigate, seek public input, open dialog and engage both conventional and new media fora to assess interest; and with the knowledge of how the proposed ice skating facility must perform and be built. Sounds to me like the makings of a well-thought out plan and long term strategy that could reap huge benefits for our local residents from a visitor/tourism revenue standpoint while meeting the growing demand this very cool idea in our own back yard – right down the road from our own Boardwalk. Plan for year round Ice in Myrtle Beach!

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