Business owners question future of former pavilion site

**Update: Myrtle Beach spokesman Mark Kruea confirmed that the carnival will not be coming to the pavilion. He explained that city council didn't like the idea of having a city carnival in the downtown area and that it didn't sit well with the development that's been made in recent years. But Kruea said the council will consider zoning changes at their next council meeting on May 14th.

Some downtown Myrtle Beach business owners are concerned about the future of the former Myrtle Beach Pavilion site on Ocean Boulevard if a proposed carnival is approved for the area.

Chris Walker, president of the Oceanfront Merchants Association, is one downtown business owner concerned about the long term effects this Orlando based company's carnival would leave on the property.

"When you let a large carnival operation come in for just the three months of summer and operate and take that money out of the local economy, of our local mini economy, is that the best thing for everyone?," Walker said.

He said he's thrilled that there is interest in developing the land, but that he'd like to see it benefit more than just an out-of-state company.

"The boardwalk did that. The SkyWheel did that. A lot of the new development is doing that, and we want to stay on that path. We don't want to take any steps backwards. We just want to move forward and build the area long term," Walker added.

Other Ocean Boulevard employees agreed with Walker, but said they'd rather not see the site sit as an empty piece of land.

"We can either have an empty lot or make some compromises and have a major attraction right here," said airbrush artist Uncle Woofie.

Property Owner Burroughs and Chapin says it's hopeful the carnival will add to the vibrancy of the downtown area.

"The 12-acre site represents a large portion of the downtown area. Burroughs & Chapin is committed to downtown and Myrtle Beach, and so the ultimate use of that land will certainly be one that the entire Myrtle Beach community will be proud of," the company said in a statement.

The city decided last week that the carnival doesn't need a special event permit. Instead, the company must go through the same zoning process for any new business.