Zipline set to open at former Pavilion site

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812 North Ocean Boulevard Myrtle Beach SC

Posted: Tuesday, April 10, 2012 3:48 pm | Updated: 5:13 pm, Wed Apr 11, 2012.

A new ride is coming to the old Pavilion site.

Five years after the popular Myrtle Beach amusement park was razed, Adrenaline Adventure Courses will open a zipline attraction there this month.

Myrtle Beach Zipline Adventures will feature six side-by-side 600-foot racing lines, and visitors will travel at speeds up to 40 mph while racing from one end to the other before hittting and a 60-foot powerfan leap — dubbed the Freefall Express — to finish the trip.

The attraction features towers located at the corner of 8th Avenue North and Kings Highway and another near the intersection of 9th Avenue North and Chester Street, with a ticket booth located at 3219th Ave. N.

There will be a landscaped walkway along the line and pedestrians will be permitted to walk beneath the soaring riders.

The cost to ride will be $25 per ticket, with each ticket getting you one zipline ride or one trip on the Freefall Express.

Group discounts will also be available with one rider given a free ticket for each six tickets purchased. Tours will be given on a first come, first served basis so reservations are suggest for large groups.

The addition of this attraction shows that ziplines are gaining popularity in Myrtle Beach. Ziplines are long cables to which a person wearing a body harness is attached. The rider jumps off one tower and gravity carries him, or her, for several hundred feet to an accompanying tower.

Tom Miller with Miller Design Services — who helped design and gain city approval for the attraction — said the rides are "gaining momentum across the nation and we are seeing them more and more."

As with any high-flying attraction, some who view the attraction may concerned about safety, but Miller said there's really nothing to worry about.

"Even when you are climbing the stairs, you are already attached to something, and it has a very high safety record," he said.

Other visible cables will be "guy wire" supports to hold the towers in place. Up to six customers are allowed on the lines at one time.

"In a high tech way, they more or less replace the bungees that were here up to 15 years ago," Miller said.

Opened in 2010, the Soar + Explore Zipline and Ropes course near Wonderworks at Broadway at the Beach has become a favorite of visitors to the area.

"It's not as scary as it looks," said Claudia Hammond, a Soar + Explore zipline rider. "I went inside on the ropes course, but this is nothing. I'll definitely do it again."

Her friend Maria Paparella also enjoyed the ride.

"That was amazing," Paparella said. "I got to stare down at the water and see all the people staring at me at wishing they were up here like me. It's not scary at all. You sit down and then they push you and you just have fun."

Building on that success Adrenaline Adventure Course has plans to open not only the zipline at the former Pavilion site, but is also working on a second attraction — a four line, 40-foot tall zipline called Oceanview Adventures — on Springmaid Boulevard near Damon's restaurant at the south end of Ocean Boulevard.

"They've got the zipline over at Broadway [at the Beach] and that seems to be working fine," said Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes, who has supported plans to build the attractions throughout the approval process with the Myrtle Beach Community Appearance Board (CAB) . "It's an amusement area down there. The property's sitting there sort of growing grass, and that's about it."

Rhodes sees the zipline as a short-term use for the site.

"With the economy like it is, it's hard to look at doing a major, major development there at this time," he said. "This is basically like a temporary fix right now until probably four, five years down the road when things change and money loosens up."

The zipline’s towers will add even more multi-story character to the city's skyline, mimcking to the rise of attractions such as the Skywheel and the 15-story Slingshot located just a few blocks away.

"It's going to generate more activity down on the boulevard," he said. "Why not?"

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