Aug. 27--MYRTLE BEACH -- One of Myrtle Beach's signature south-end hotels has new owners who are developing a plan to reinvest in the property.
The Crown Reef Resort, a 514-room hotel on the south end of Ocean Boulevard that was owned by Jordan Properties, was sold earlier this month to Crown Reef Resort LLC for $16.1 million, according to Horry County property records. Officials involved in the sale declined to name the buyers who make up the LLC.
The hotel will be managed by a newly formed group of hoteliers and investors known as Legacy Business Solutions and become the 14th property in the Vacation Myrtle Beach hotel cooperative, said Matt Klugman, spokesman for Vacation Myrtle Beach, which also includes hotels such as the Caravelle Resort, Palace Resort and Captain's Quarters.
The new Crown Reef owners are working on a plan to invest in the property, but the details haven't been set in stone, Klugman said, adding that officials wanted to get through the busy summer season before focusing on potential upgrades or changes.
"Right now the planning stage is going on for the future of the property," he said. "Things will probably develop pretty quickly in the next month or two... There's a lot of conversation right now about what those changes will be."
One thing's for sure, the resort will keep the recognizable Crown Reef name, Klugman said. The property debuted in Myrtle Beach in June 1994 with 203 guest rooms and played an early role in helping lure more meetings and conventions to Ocean Boulevard with the opening of its conference center in May 1998, officials said.
Crown Reef grew during the hotel boom of the late 1990s, adding a second tower with 180 guest rooms in June 1997 and a third tower with 131 guest rooms in June 1999. It also boasts a number of indoor and outdoor pools, a lazy river, restaurant, lounge, fitness center, two video arcades and gift shop.
"The Crown Reef Resort has been an anchor property on the south end of Myrtle Beach for many years and played a formative role in the early stages of the area's group market -- meetings, associations, conventions," Brad Dean, president of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, said in an email.
The property's location, size with three towers and brand recognition lured the new owners to buy it, Klugman said.
"It's a large oceanfront property. It's got a very popular name in Myrtle Beach and it has some strong potential," he said. "It's generally a well-known brand, and hopefully we can take that forward and grow that brand."
The sale is the latest example of resurging interest among investors and developers in Myrtle Beach's oceanfront. Three new oceanfront lodging properties are in the works: A 14-story Homewood Suites Oceanfront Resort & Conference Center that aims to open in December 2014 on the oceanfront at 1805 S. Ocean Boulevard; Residence Inn-SpringHill Suites Oceanfront Resort just north of Second Avenue Pier aiming to open in summer 2015 and the Hilton Grand Vacations Club timeshares at 22nd Avenue North.
The flurry of activity is a result of the city's tourism rebound, Myrtle Beach spokesman Mark Kruea said.
"I think it is a good sign," he said. "The tourism climate is right now for some investment and reinvestment."
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