Myrtle Beach Council OKs sale of ‘Myrtle Manor’ souvenirs at trailer park

mprabhu@thesunnews.comMarch 27, 2013 

(From left) Amanda Adams, Jessica Burke, Jared Stetson and Chelsey Keller are on the new reality show "Welcome to Myrtle Manor". Here they take a break between interviews

STEVE JESSMORE — The Sun News

— Those wishing to pick up a “Welcome to Myrtle Manor” hat or T-shirt while driving through Patrick’s Mobile Home Park to snap a picture of – or with – some of the cast members soon will be able to do just that.

And if it’s allowed by the state, the stylists at Tangulls salon soon will be able to accept paying customers.

The Myrtle Beach City Council approved a resolution Tuesday that designates the trailer park located on Highway 15 a “film district,” allowing it to operate commercial businesses inside the residential zone.

“Welcome to Myrtle Manor” is a “docu-drama” that was filmed in Patrick’s Mobile Home Park in Myrtle Beach last year. The show premiered March 3 on TLC.

In addition to creating the Myrtle Manor Film District, the council approved a special event permit that allows the sale of show souvenirs and concessions, and the operation of a hair salon for 90 days, from April 1 to June 29. Cecil Patrick, owner of the park, could then re-apply for subsequent special event permits 90-days at a time that would allow the commercial activity to continue.

The owners of Tangulls, Gina Shelley and Roy Bullard, still would have to apply for licensing through the state for the salon, which was created for the show.

Assistant city manager John Pedersen said Patrick could have applied to change the park’s zoning, but it would be a lengthy process and take at least six weeks. Patrick said he aims to open the store on April 1.

“It’s a very unique circumstance,” Pedersen said. “There’s a huge interest in an area that isn’t usually a touristy area … This allows him to benefit from the popularity of the TV show while it’s at its height.”

The show is averaging about 1.1 million viewers an episode, according to Nielsen, the company that measures the ratings of television shows, and pulled in about 1.2 million views for its most recent episode on Sunday.

“Myrtle Manor” premiered to 1.3 million viewers. Ratings for the second episode fell to about 925,000

Patrick told council that hundreds of cars filter through the park daily with people hoping to get a glimpse of the “Myrtle Manor” sign or a cast member.

“Everyone who comes out here wants a T-shirt,” Patrick said.

Patrick said he plans to have a NASCAR-like merchandise trailer that would sell show souvenirs that currently are available for purchase online at www.myrtlemanor.com. Available items include T-shirts, hats, can coolers and “beer belts.”

The store would be open daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and sit about 70 yards off Highway 15.

In the ordinance, city manager Tom Leath recommended denying the resolution.

“While I appreciate the applicant’s desire to cash in on the popularity of the television show, the fact remains that this area is zoned for residential purposes,” he wrote in his recommendation. “To further invite commercial traffic would do a disservice to the neighbors.”

Council members said they had no issues with creating the film district and granting a special event permit and moved the item from the regular to the consent agenda.

Councilman Wayne Gray will appear in Sunday’s episode as a judge of a beauty pageant at the park, which will air at 10 p.m. on TLC.

Contact MAYA T. PRABHU at 444-1722 or follow her at Twitter.com/TSN_MPrabhu.

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