Surf’s up at South Carolina’s Myrtle Beach thanks to Colliers International’s Destination Consulting team

International | Leisure & Tourism | Property & Construction | South West

Destination Consultants based in the Bristol office of global real estate advisors Colliers International are ensuring there will be waves a plenty for holiday makers in South Carolina.

The team who provided consultancy for The Wave, Bristol’s inland surfing lagoon and artificial wave pool, which opened last year, has recently been advising on plans for a $41m surf and recreation park, called Surfworks Adventure Park in South Carolina, US. The park is being developed by American Surf Parks LLC and has just had a land deal agreed.

“We were introduced to the team from Myrtle Beach because of our involvement in The Wave, from 2013 onwards, and Surf Snowdonia, 2012 onwards, in the UK. They had seen the Wavegarden technology proposed for both of those and wanted to pursue something similar,” said Matt Hyslop, head of the Colliers International’s Destination Consulting team and an experienced surfer himself.

He explained that while Myrtle Beach was popular as a surf destination the waves were unpredictable, and the developers of the Surfworks Adventure Park were aiming to address this.

“Myrtle Beach is an interesting location,” he said. “There is natural surf but it’s not consistent, so there’s a good base level of demand from frustrated local surfers.

“The big market opportunity though is the huge seasonal tourist market. There’s a massive American market for summer holidays, and Myrtle Beach is a very popular destination for people who want to hit the beach, and enjoy surfing on the coast, or playing golf at one of the many courses.

“This business model is centred around doing big volumes in the peak season, with a very quiet, and potentially closed, winter. Our client is also a local surfer with a family business in house building.”

Matt said that the Destination Consulting team at Colliers International did initial market and financial feasibility work, helping prepare the first business plan for the Surfworks Adventure Park in 2015, which will use the same Wavegarden technology which is used in Bristol’s The Wave.

“There was an original identified site in Myrtle Beach which ran into issues with development permissions and so they ended up moving to the 20-acres where they are now, and for which they recently agreed a 15-year lease.

“We have supported them through various updates of the business plan over the last four to five years, and have provided general supporting advice. We’ve played a good ‘critical friend’ role with them.”

Surfworks Adventure Park will feature a full-size Wavegarden Cove which will generate 1,000 waves an hour across four different skill zones. Other attractions will include an amphitheatre, surf school, an adventure park, a hotel, a restaurant and a surf shop. It is scheduled to open in 2022.

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