The North Myrtle Beach Park and Sports Complex is scheduled to get two new rides and both could be ready by mid-summer.
The city plans to include funding in next year’s budget for an 18-seat carousel and train ride at the park.
“Some of the fondest memories we have as kids are the times when we spent on carousels,” said Parks and Recreation Director John Bullard. “So we will be constructing a carousel and also a train that will provide rides for our families at the park.”
The initial investment for the rides is $715,000, Bullard said, but together the two rides should collectively turn a profit of about $7,000 per year. The carousel alone would have lost money each year.
“There are economies of scale,” Bullard said. “Because you have two rides there, you’re doubling your ridership which means you’re practically doubling your revenue. Operationally, it’s going to cost us one more position to have two rides than it will one ride. So that makes it financially feasible to cover your operational cost with your revenue."
Mayor Marilyn Hatley said the city has discussed the ride in the past, and said it would also serve as another attraction for the Christmas light show the city hosts.
This year, the city plans to fund it.
“It’s going to be a great addition,” Hatley said. “It will be two activities that will be fun for our residents, the children who live here and for our visitors.”
Bullard said city staff will begin working on the site as soon as possible.
"We will begin the design process almost immediately and do the site work and the site prep," he said. "The earliest we would see something, if you wanted to come over and ride the carousel, it would be sometime in mid-summer."