MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – In a press conference held Friday by Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes, the city announced that it has a $100 million commitment from a Chinese Cultural Theme Park, similar to Epcot, to begin building in the fall.
The theme park is slated to open in the fall of 2017, Rhodes added. The mayor also expressed interest in having Mandarin Chinese taught in Horry County Schools, specifically in third to fifth grade classrooms, and using the theme park as an introduction to the new curriculum.
While Rhodes did not specify where exactly the theme park would be built, he did note that city leaders have locations in mind to show Chinese investors when they make the trip to Myrtle Beach in April. In addition, a local contractor has been contacted to help with the design of the park, adds Rhodes.
Also at the press conference was Horry County Council Chairman Mark Lazarus, who accompanied Rhodes on a recent business trip to China. The 16-day trip, made in late January, was at the request of China investors, Rhodes reported to News13 before leaving for the trip.
An agenda for the trip obtained by News13 had Rhodes and Lazarus scheduled to visit several different cities. The agenda also mentioned the Chinese government’s interest in growing tourism and opportunities for investment in the Myrtle Beach area, as well as intentions to grow Chinese culture through the chamber of commerce.
Rhodes and Lazarus returned from the China trip Feb. 5 and made the $100 million investment announcement Friday afternoon. Rhodes says the city hope to finalize the deal for the theme park in April.