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      It's been awhile, but new hotel being built in Myrtle Beach

      Myrtle Beach is getting its first new hotel since the height of the recession.

      In a little more than a year, the dirt lot at 1805 S. Ocean Blvd will be filled with a 14-story tower with 100 full suites and a conference room and will be called the Homewood by Hilton Hotel.

      Marketing and Sales Director Nancy Lee said since interest rates are so low, it was a great time to build.

      "The economy is on an upswing, so we want to be one of the first ones to step out and take advantage of that," Lee added.

      Homewood by Hilton is going up right next to the Hampton Inn, both owned by the same company.

      Lee said last year Hampton Inn was forced to turn away 27,000 room nights because they were at full capacity.

      Some local business owners are also gearing up for the development. Tony Politis owns the Spring Garden Pancake House across the street.

      "I think it will bring a lot of people here, and I think it will be good for the business," Politis said.

      Politis added that he may even hire more employees.

      City spokesman Mark Kruea said this development along with the last three tourist seasons are all hopeful signs of an improving economy.

      "Our tourism economy has bounced back much more quickly than the other segments of the economy," said Kruea.

      But Kruea explained it might still be too early to tell if this is the start of another hotel building boom.

      "Back in the mid to late 2000s, we had 7, 8, 9, 10 tower cranes working along the beach at the same time. I'm not sure that we're back to that point yet," he said.

      Homewood by Hilton is scheduled to be completed by June of 2014.