Member Spotlight: Ground Zero

When one walks through the doors of Ground Zero, they’re immediately taken aback by how modern and beautiful the surroundings are.

Not long ago, this building on Chester Street in Myrtle Beach – right across from the parking garage and less than a block from Ocean Boulevard – used to house a movie theater. Then, in 2011, the folks with Ground Zero decided to renovate it and make it a place for teenagers to come and enjoy positive experiences within a safe environment.ground zero

The city of Myrtle Beach owns the lease, and only charged Ground Zero $1 a year. They are paid up through the next $20.

And on Oct. 14, Ground Zero finally got to debut what they have been working on the last three years. The ribbon was cut, and their new facility was up and running.

So, back to that entrance. It is beautiful, and it is a coffee shop. Here, the friendly baristas are making delicious drinks like their own version of a pumpkin spice latte, chai tea and any number of smoothies. There is plenty of seating available, and free wifi is offered. Ground Zero’s staff envisions this space as a place for students to come and work on the studies.

But it doesn’t stop there. Local businessmen and women can come, order a cup of coffee and discuss plans for that big presentation. Or, pastors and youth ministers can work on their sermons.

Ultimately, Ground Zero is a faith-based organization, although not one where a person would be bombarded with scripture.

Their website states the goal is to, “impact and influence teenagers’ lives during culturally relevant, entertaining, and worshipful events in order to establish authentic relationships with one another, with Christian adults and mentors, and ultimately, with God through Jesus Christ.”

In the theater area, there are three different gaming areas for PlayStation, Xbox and the like. There are no first-person shooter games, like “Call of Duty.”

And, in addition to more modern games, one can wax nostalgic after getting a look at the old-school tabletop video game systems that have titles like “Galaga,” “Donkey Kong Jr.” and other classics from the 80s.

There are also a number of events Ground Zero will host throughout the fall and spring seasons for teens. National bands, illusionists, flatland skateboarders and comedians will provide students with top-notch entertainment that is sure to please.

Everything about Ground Zero, from the coffee shop, video games and events, is geared toward that mission statement – give teens a safe and fun environment to form bonds with their peers and with God.

Judging by the activity that has been happening the last few days there at Chester Street, it’s evident that Ground Zero is off and running.

by Brad Dickerson, media communications manager, Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce/Convention and Visitors Bureau

October 27, 2014 at 7:00 am Leave a comment

Member Spotlight: Palmetto Moonshine

South Carolina’s first legal moonshine distillery now has a location open in the Myrtle Beach area. Palmetto Moonshine is located off U.S. 17 Business, on the opposite side of the street from the Myrtle Beach Harley-Davidson store.

This is a unique, new experience for both those who visit Myrtle Beach, and those who call the area home 365 days a year. The interior has an early 20th century feel to it, with wooden walls decorated with the store’s signature product in mason jars.

Palmetto MoonshineGuests are invited to learn a little bit of the history of the business, which was started by Anderson, South Carolina, brothers Trey and Bryan Boggs, as well as the evolution of moonshine and some of the preconceived notions attached to it, such as that it’s only drunk straight from those mason jars.

What Palmetto Moonshine staff will tell you is that simply isn’t the case. Moonshine can actually be used to make a number of tasty drinks, like margaritas.

The four moonshine flavors – White Lightning, Peach, Blackberry and Apple Pie – are all available for sampling from 2 to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

But that’s not all. You can also try Palmetto Moonshine’s bloody mary – where moonshine is substituted for vodka – jams and barbecue sauce.

And while you’re there, take a look at the original 250-gallon still that was used to first make this one-of-a-kind spirit.

There’s a great deal of history and fun to be had from a trip to Palmetto Moonshine. Give them a visit.

For more information, go to palmettomoonshine.com.

by Brad Dickerson, media communications manager, Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce/Convention and Visitors Bureau

September 29, 2014 at 1:39 pm Leave a comment

Member Spotlight: Three Ring Focus

The staff at Three Ring Focus is “young, talented and hungry,” according to the company’s website.

three-ring-focusAfter spending some time in their new office located at the intersection of Mr. Joe White Avenue and Seaboard Street in Myrtle Beach, it is also evident they are fun-loving, easy going and, most importantly, dedicated to doing quality work for their clients.

Three Ring Focus is a Web design and marketing company that boasts 150 clients. Their services include not only website design, but also billboards, maintaining Facebook pages and compiling blogs.

Did we mention they are also fun? The beautiful office includes pictures of Spider-Man, several flat screen televisions, video game systems and even a full-service bar.

The gang likes to joke on their website that they initially tried their hand at modeling, but were emphatically asked not to show up any more. Those dreams dashed, they instead became the self-proclaimed “coolest nerds on the block.”

And these “nerds” are basking in substantial growth. President Andrew Kipple said their business has increased 60 percent over the last year.

Part of the secret to their success is conveying a relaxed, accommodating atmosphere that makes clients feel welcome. And how could they not be? The company mascot, a half English bulldog, half Boston terrier named Bufflin, is there to greet everyone who walks in the door with a friendly sniff of the hand.

The team is a family, which isn’t too far from the truth. Andrew works side by side with brother Adam, the lead designer, and father Alan, the head of accounts.

And they want those who have Web or marketing needs to become a part of the family too.

“We’ve found a nice niche,”Alan said.

For more information, go to threeringfocus.com.

by Brad Dickerson, media communications manager, Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce/Convention and Visitors Bureau

September 22, 2014 at 3:08 pm Leave a comment

Season of Celebration Holiday Guide

More than 1 million copies of the Season of Celebration Holiday Guide are distributed as a direct mail/newspaper insert in strategic markets in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia within drive-time distance of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Reserve your ad space by Sept. 12, 2014.  http://www.myrtlebeachareachamber.com/marketing/docs/seasonofcelebration2014.pdf

September 2, 2014 at 1:54 pm Leave a comment

Ninth Annual Beach-Boogie & BBQ Festival Offering $13,000 in Cash Prizes

The Ninth Annual Beach-Boogie & BBQ Festival returns this fall to the Grand Strand on Aug. 29 and Aug. 30. The festival is offering $13,000 in cash prizes to the winners of the official barbecue championship of South Carolina. Admission is free to this Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS) sanctioned event, with proceeds benefiting the Shriners Hospital of Greenville, South Carolina.

The end-of-summer extravaganza will take place Labor Day Weekend from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 29 and from noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 30. The festival will be held at the Horry Georgetown Technical College Conference Center on the Grand Strand Campus near Grand Park at The Market Common, located at 950 Crabtree Ln. Main stage will be located at the corner of Emmens Avenue and Crabtree Lane, with other festival elements surrounding. This will be a new location for the festival.

Registered cooking teams will compete for the chance to win $13,000 in cash prizes during Saturday’s barbecue competition. This year’s barbecue team registration fee is $175 per team, and amateur barbecue teams are encouraged to compete. The deadline for team registration is Aug. 22, 2014. Information on team rules and regulations is available at kcbs.us.

Organized by Palmetto Event Productions, the Beach-Boogie & BBQ Festival is a free, family-friendly event, featuring finger-lickin’ barbecue and food for purchase from vendors and competitors, along with free live entertainment both days.  In addition, there will be kids’ activities and games, vendors selling festival food and art/craft favorites, and a free fireworks show on Saturday. Parking is also free and available throughout the Market Common area and HGTC campus buildings along Pampas Avenue. There will be a handicap parking lot near the intersection of Pampas Avenue and Crabtree Lane.

Delicious barbecue samples and festival food will be available for purchase during the entire festival. Barbecue sandwiches, combos and by-the-pound will be available for purchase from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday and from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Along with the official KCBS Barbecue Championship on Saturday, festival goers will enjoy a number of other competitions and events throughout the two days, including the Myrtle Beach Car Club Cruise In on Aug. 30.

In addition to the food and festivities, staff from the Shriners Hospital for Children in Greenville, South Carolina, will be on hand from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday and from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday to discuss free medical treatment for children and the hospital’s mission. Physicians will be on site from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday. The hospital’s mission is to identify children ages newborn through 18 years who may qualify for treatment regardless of the families’ ability to pay.

Festival highlights will include:

Friday, Aug. 29 – (festivities from 6 to 10 p.m.)

  • Burgers ‘N’ Brews – 6 to 8 p.m. – Area restaurants are encouraged to bring their best burger recipes to win the title of the Best Beach-Boogie & BBQ Burger. Only $100 to register through Aug. 1, and $150 afterwards until the Aug. 22 deadline. Participants keep 100 percent of revenue from burgers that are sold to the public. The People’s Choice competition has a first place prize of $500, a second place prize of $300 and third place prize of $100. Limited to only 10 participants.
  • Wing Competition and Tasting – 6 to 8 p.m. – Barbecue cook teams will be competing, and the public can purchase wings from the barbecue sales tent.
  • ‘Anything But’ Competition – 6 to 8 p.m. – Barbecue cook teams will be submitting their ‘Anything But’ dishes to the judges in hopes to win some great cash prizes.
  • Shriners Hospital Information Booth - 6 to 8 p.m. – Staff from Shriners Hospital will be on-hand discussing free medical treatment.
  • Live Entertainment on the Main Stage - 6 to 10 p.m. – Get ready for a great line-up of entertainment and dance to some of your favorite music! Bring chairs and blankets (no coolers allowed). Main stage, corner of Emmens Avenue and Crabtree Lane. Free to the public.
  • Beer and Wine Garden - 6 to 10 p.m. – Choose from more than 15 beers, along with wine and other spirit selections, at the new and expanded Beer and Wine Garden.

Saturday, Aug. 30 – (festivities from Noon to 10 p.m.)

  • Corn Hole Competition – Noon to 5 p.m. – It is only $40 to register a team of two. Registration begins at 11 a.m. Cash prizes are $300 for first place, $250 for second place and $75 for third place.
  • Kansas City Barbecue Society (four meat categories) – Noon to 2 p.m. – Barbecue cook teams will be competing in the official barbecue competition of South Carolina in four meat categories – pork, ribs, brisket and chicken. More than $11,000 in cash prizes at stake and a lot of bragging rights. Come watch as teams prepare this savory food and turn into the judges. No public sampling.
  • Shriners Hospital Information Booth - Noon to 5 p.m. – Staff and physicians from Shriners Hospital will be on-hand discussing free medical treatment.
  • Myrtle Beach Car Club Cruise In – Noon to 4 p.m. – Load-in begins at 10 a.m. For more information, call Cecil Chandler at 843-742-9802 or Lenny Sirago at 843-251-3849.
  • Beer and Wine Garden – Noon to 10 p.m. Enjoy cold beer and wine selections at the newly expanded Beer and Wine Garden.
  • Live Entertainment on the Main Stage - Noon to 9:30 p.m. Come back for another great line-up of entertainment and make sure to have your dancing shoes! Bring chairs and blankets (no coolers allowed). Main stage, corner of Emmens Avenue and Crabtree Lane. Free to the public.
  • Kids Q Competition – 2 to 3 p.m. – Kids between 8 and 11 years of age cook in the hamburger category, while kids 12 to 15 cook in the chicken thigh category. It is only $65 per child to register, and there are only 10 available spots per age category. Registration is required in advance and includes meat, a small grill and a bag of charcoal. Come support and cheer on these future chefs.
  • Announcement of Official S.C. Barbecue Championship and Shriner Hospital of Greenville and HGTC Culinary Institute check presentations – 5 p.m. – Learn which competitor will earn the Grand Champion title and which competitors will receive prize money. Main stage, corner of Emmens Avenue and Crabtree Lane.
  • Fireworks – 9:30 p.m. Enjoy a fireworks finale. Free to the public.

The Ninth Annual Beach-Boogie & BBQ Festival is sponsored by the City of Myrtle Beach, the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce and Horry Georgetown Technical College.

For more festival information, visit MyrtleBeachEventInfo.com or call 843-712-2145.

July 30, 2014 at 6:07 pm Leave a comment

Brand USA Reauthorization

Following the U.S. House of Representatives passing a bill to reauthorize Brand USA, Brad Dean, president and CEO of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, issued the following statement:

“We applaud the House of Representatives for their committed leadership in growing the number of international travelers who visit the U.S. Brand USA is a valuable public-private partnership that opens many doors worldwide for tourism promoters. The reauthorization of Brand USA ensures that our nation is well-positioned to capture a share of the growing international tourism market. Brand USA also allows us to efficiently market our destination in numerous countries both in Europe and the Far East, as well as Canada. This important national partnership will enable us to grow tourism and create jobs while not costing taxpayers a dime.”

July 24, 2014 at 6:31 pm Leave a comment

Leadership Grand Strand Announces Class XXXV

Thirty-two business and community members were recently selected for Leadership Grand Strand Class XXXV. The 10-month program that begins with an orientation on Aug. 28, 2014, explores topics such as Grand Strand history, tourism and economic development, business, education, criminal justice, human services, government and the arts. Leadership Grand Strand is sponsored by the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce.

In its 35 years of service to the community, Leadership Grand Strand has tackled real community needs as part of each class’s graduation requirements. Each member is required to volunteer 100 hours toward community projects. For 2014-2015, 25 hours will be spent with the Children’s Museum of South Carolina, 25 hours will be spent with the Youth Leadership Academy, 30 hours will be spent with personal projects, 15 hours will be spent helping with the Ann DeBock Leadership Award nominations and five hours will go toward a community clean-up event.

Leadership Grand Strand Class XXXV

Tracy S. Bailey, Freedom Readers

Anthony Barnhart, Magnum Wines and Gifts

Margaret Bost, Burroughs and Chapin Company Inc.

Jessica Buttles, South State Bank

Matthew Elam Caldwell, The Beach House Golf and Racquet Club

Molly Dean Causey, First Citizens Bank

Charles E. Diez, City of North Myrtle Beach

Kelley Ellert, Kelley Ellert – Marketing Consultant

Bryant Evans, Dockside Realty

Kema Faulk, Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce

Amy Flanigan, Full Steam Ahead Inc.

Charles Gibbons, Miller-Motte Technical College

Jon Greenlee, TD Bank

Jennifer Greenstein, Pfizer Inc.

Harold Hawley, Horry Georgetown Technical College

Russell Mace III, The Mace Firm

Natasha McKinnon, City of Myrtle Beach

Andy Milovich, Myrtle Beach Pelicans

Melissa A. Nordstrom, HTC

Wendy Parkman, Chick fil-A Seaboard Commons

Carla Pielmeier, Myrtle Beach Manor

Gwen Rumph, Media General/WBTW News 13

Julie Schroll, Beach Urgent Care

Robert S. Sunday, Coastal Carolina National Bank

Gregg A. Turbeville, Santee Cooper

Carole vanSickler, Retired/Community Activist for Carolina Forest

Tracy Lee Vreeland, United Way of Horry County

Mike Wallace, Springmaid Beach Resort

Alan Thomas Walsh, Wyndham Vacation Ownership

Joshua Williams, Visibility and Conversions

Patricia Wisniewski, Courtyard by Marriott – Barefoot Landing

Monica Wooten, Horry County Solicitor’s Office

For more information, visit LeadershipGrandStrand.com or contact Diana Greene, LGS executive director, at LGS@VisitMyrtleBeach.com or 843-916-7222.

July 24, 2014 at 6:23 pm Leave a comment

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