Conway businesses expect boost from Big South tournament

Conway businesses expect boost from Big South tournament (Image 1)

A high profile event in the college sports world brings attention to the Myrtle Beach and Conway area this week.

The Big South basketball tournament began Tuesday.

Coastal Carolina University is hosting it and the Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce is the lead sponsor.

“It's something that can only help the economy in Myrtle Beach and can only gain future students for Coastal Carolina University,” Christina Lazarus with the Chamber said.

CCU is in Conway, in an area which continues to see a lot of growth thanks to the university.

Area businesses are set to benefit from a big week.

“It's a good opportunity to break in and get started,” Gary Goss said.

Goss is still putting some finishing touches on K.G.'s Graffiti Garage. It's a brand new bar and restaurant in a former oil change shop on Highway 544.

He's happy to open up right as this tournament has come to town.

“Especially for someone like myself, we're right across the street. I think you can walk there in 45 seconds so hopefully we get people coming here,” Goss said.

Apartment homes have popped up along the highway 544 side of campus recently are also part of the reason they came here.

“Have a few drinks, see the games, be close to school and in walking distance,” Goss said.

The Soho 544 restaurant is fairly new too. Managers are pleased with the attention given to the Conway area through this tournament.

“It's good they're trying to bring a lot of local following to this end of town as opposed to the other end,” manager Zackery Michalek said.

The chamber thinks the immediate boost from the visitors is good, but the long-term effect can be even bigger

“Getting the out to all 12 of these schools in South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia, so we're trying to make an impact,” Lazarus said.

This tournament runs through the weekend and there will be some national TV coverage.

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