In 2022, the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce partnered with Chmura Economics & Analytics to conduct a comprehensive economic impact study evaluating the advantages that Interstate 73 would bring to both the Grand Strand and the State of South Carolina. As part of our commitment to driving dialogues surrounding the crucial infrastructure requirements in our region, Partnership Grand Strand will be creating a series of visually engaging infographics based on the insights from this study. These infographics will distill complex information into easily digestible nuggets, making the findings readily accessible to all.
For our first infographic, we have chosen to highlight four remarkable advantages that an interstate connector brings to the Grand Strand: a significant reduction in travel time via greater connectivity, the creation of abundant job opportunities, an exponential boost in tourism, and an increase in tax revenue. A 2016 study by C&M Associates projects that the completion of the I-73 corridor will reduce travel time by 59 minutes, from 178 minutes to 119 minutes. This translates into a staggering time savings of nearly an hour for both residents and visitors. Notably, during peak hours, the travel time reduction along the entire segment of I-73 in South Carolina could reach an astonishing 110 minutes - nearly two hours of reclaimed time. This insight showcases the profound impact that the interstate connector will have on optimizing travel experiences, saving travelers both time and vehicle maintenance costs.
The construction of an interstate connector leading to Myrtle Beach will bring about an economic boom that will reverberate throughout the State of South Carolina. Projections indicate that by the year 2040, Interstate 73 will generate a surge of opportunity, creating 20,528 jobs statewide. This job creation encompasses a diverse range of sectors, including 3,045 positions in roadside services that cater to the needs of travelers, 14,021 roles in the tourism and hospitality industry, and 3,462 employment opportunities at Inland Port Dillon; however, the impact doesn't stop there. The ripple effect of this infrastructure development extends to the logistics and manufacturing sectors. As a result, the state can anticipate an annual economic impact of $820.1 million, accompanied by the support of 3,436 additional jobs within the logistics and manufacturing sectors.
According to the Chmura study, Interstate 73 is poised to revolutionize tourism in the Myrtle Beach area, bringing about a remarkable surge in visitor numbers. Projections indicate a 6.8% increase in tourist volume compared to the current level. As a result of this anticipated growth, the total expenditure in the tourism sector is expected to soar to $1.2 billion by 2040, accounting for inflation-adjusted dollars. These figures underscore the appeal of enhanced accessibility that the interstate connector will bring to the region.
As previously mentioned, an interstate connector to Myrtle Beach will unleash a wave of job opportunities and economic prosperity, paving the way for substantial gains in tax revenue for both the state and local governments. By 2040, it is projected that the state government will experience an annual tax revenue influx of approximately $121.9 million, while local governments will benefit from an estimated $68.7 million. These figures highlight the transformative impact of the interstate connector, propelling the region towards greater financial stability and growth.