Estate Planning Attorney inMyrtle Beach, SC

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Securing Your Legacy in South
Carolina

Did you know that one in two U.S. citizens have yet to create a plan for their estate? Just about everyone knows they need to get their affairs in order, but most people procrastinate when it comes to estate planning. It's an uncomfortable subject to think about. After all, nobody wants to ponder their death and what happens to their assets when they pass. However, working with an estate planning lawyer in Myrtle Beach, SC, protects you, your loved ones, and your assets, both while you're alive and after you have died. There isn't a perfect time to plan your estate, but there is a right time – and that time is now.

We understand that there is no "one-size-fits-all" solution to your estate planning needs. That's why, at CDH Law Firm, we make a concerted effort to speak with our clients personally so that we can create an estate plan that is as unique as they are. Our estate plans are comprehensive, cost-effective, and catered to you. That way, your family is provided if you are incapacitated or pass away.

At the end of the day, our goal is to make sure that every one of our clients leaves our office feeling less stressed and more informed. Peace of mind is valuable currency these days. Why worry about the future of your loved ones when you can use South Carolina law to ensure their stability?

Many of the clients in Myrtle Beach that walk through our doors have significant questions that require serious answers. They're filled with doubt, stress, and worry. They're worried about their children, their spouse, their relatives, or all the above. They ask questions like:

  • How much does estate planning cost?
  • What kind of results can I expect?
  • How long will this process take?

If these questions sound familiar, know that you are not alone. At CDH Law Firm, we have worked with hundreds of clients just like you. Sometimes, these clients are unsatisfied with their current estate planning attorney in Myrtle Beach. Other times, they have been served with confusing papers or documents that leave them feeling overwhelmed. In either case, clients come to our office knowing they need to manage what is often a sudden, foreign situation.

The good news? We sit down with all new clients for an hour at no extra cost. We do so to get a basic sense of their situation and help steer them in the right direction. That way, they can leave our office feeling a little wiser and a lot better about the future.

Estate Planning Law Myrtle Beach, SC
Service Areas

Our firm specializes in several areas of estate planning and family law, including:

  • Estate Planning
  • Last Will and Testament
  • Living Wills
  • Heath Care Power of Attorney
  • Living Wills
  • Irrevocable Trusts
  • Revocable Trusts
  • Retirement Trusts
  • Special Needs Trusts

The Cobb Dill & Hammett
Difference

At Cobb Dill & Hammett, LLC, estate planning is like second nature to us. Having worked hundreds upon hundreds of cases, we have the knowledge and experience to assist with all the estate planning needs that you or your family have.

As our client, you will always work directly with your attorney. We do not pass cases off to paralegals or junior associates. Because your concerns and questions don't end when our office closes, we encourage our clients to contact us at any time.

Because we limit the number of cases we accept, we have the time and resources to truly dedicate ourselves to each of our clients. Unlike some competitors, we care about the outcome of every case because we know that our clients' future depends on it.

 Estate Planning Attorney Myrtle Beach, SC The-Cobb-Dill-Hammett-Difference
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What Our Clients Say

What is Estate Planning in
Myrtle Beach, SC?

The word "estate" might make you think of a sprawling mansion in the French countryside. The truth is, you don't have to be rich to have an estate. In fact, most people already have an estate. An estate comprises the assets that a person owns like cars, bank accounts, real estate, businesses, and other possessions. Everyone's estate is different, but we all have one thing in common: none of us can take our estates with us when we die. When that does eventually happen, you will need legal instructions that state who gets what from your estate in plain terms.That, in a nutshell, is estate planning – building a framework in advance that names the organizations or people that should receive your assets after you die. Planning your estate now helps make life much easier for your family down the line.

 Estate Planning Lawyer Myrtle Beach, SC
A good estate plan covers more than fiscal assets, however. A comprehensive
estate plan should include the following:
  • If you have children who are minors, instructions as to who will be their guardian when you die.
  • Long-term care insurance if you suffer from an extended injury or illness.
  • Instructions that dictate what happens to you and your financial affairs if you become incapacitated before death.
  • Instructions on the transfer of your business after retirement, incapacity, disability, or death.
  • Instructions on how to provide for loved ones who might need help managing money or who need protection from creditors.
  • Probate and tax avoidance that help minimize court fees, taxes, and legal fees.
  • Planning Medicaid payments.
  • Instructions that help complete or update beneficiary designations.
  • Assist family members who have special needs without disqualifying them from government benefits.

Contrary to popular belief, estate planning isn't just for adults who are approaching retirement age. Estate planning is for everyone. After all, we're all getting older, and none of us know exactly when it will be our time to go.

The Basics of Estate Planning
in Myrtle Beach, SC

Although estate planning can be complicated, a well-rounded plan makes a huge difference in what is left to your beneficiaries. Before you start planning your estate, it's important to know a few common topics that may arise as you detail your needs.

1.

Working with a Tax Advisor and Estate Planning
Attorney in Myrtle Beach, SC

Working with a veteran estate planning lawyer is a no-brainer, but you should consider working with a tax advisor too. Your attorney's role is to help guide you through the creation of your estate planning documents. Common documents include your will, health care directives, and power of attorney. Your tax advisor will help guide you through tax issues associated with your estate planning needs.

In this relationship, you make the decisions while your attorney and tax advisor help you understand and think through the options you're considering. As a team, they will help you state your wishes clearly while minimizing mistakes and adjusting your plans as they change. Because significant savings can result from thorough, informed planning, you should seriously consider working with a tax advisor in addition to your estate planning attorney.

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2.

Maximizing
Your Estate

If there were one overriding theme of estate planning, it would be maximizing what you plan to leave behind. Thinking through how each of your assets will be distributed is crucial to your estate. Your decisions may change depending on the type of asset, its size, how old you are, and several other factors. With an attorney on your side, you will gain a thorough understanding of what actions you should take to care for your family while minimizing expenses like taxes and court fees.

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3.

Inheritance, Estate,
and Gift Taxes

One of the biggest parts of maximizing what you're leaving behind is to minimize taxes. Federal taxes on estates and gifts are incredibly high. Both forms of taxes usually have exemption limits, which means you can give up to a specific amount without being taxed. Your lawyer can achieve that by using the gift tax exemption to move assets while you are still alive. This strategy maximizes how much your beneficiaries will receive.

Inheritance taxes are often based on the value of your estate and paid prior to asset distribution to your beneficiaries.

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Choosing the
Executor of Your Will

The executor of your estate plays a key role in your affairs. Their responsibilities include carrying out the terms of your will and seeing the estate settlement process through until the end. Obviously, such a role demands a qualified person. Choosing your executor isn't an easy decision. The person you select should be great at managing money, be savvy financially, and show an ability to be patient. That's because the executor is tasked with:

  • Collecting Your Assets
  • Paying Outstanding Bills
  • Submitting Tax Returns
  • Petitioning the Court for Documents
  • Distributing Assets to Your Beneficiaries
 Law Firm Myrtle Beach, SC

If the person that you choose as executor is inexperienced with the estate settlement process, it is recommended that they lean on an estate planning attorney in Myrtle Beach, SC for guidance. It should be noted that you may appoint more than a single executor to your estate. This is common when two individuals have complementary personalities or skill sets.

The Benefits of Estate Planning
in Myrtle Beach, SC

One of the biggest benefits of planning your estate is the peace of mind it brings to you and your family. With the help of our expert estate planning attorneys, you have the power to protect your assets, privacy, and children's welfare. You can also potentially save money on taxes or even avoid probate. By having your wishes legally documented before death or incapacity, you can minimize any impact on your beneficiaries and take control of your legacy. Without a comprehensive estate plan, you're leaving the future of your loved ones in the hands of the South Carolina court system.

With an estate plan in place, you can plan for incapacity by using a power of attorney or advanced medical directives. Doing so relieves your loved ones of the burden of asking the court for the authority to fulfill your wishes.

At CDH Law Firm, we are committed to helping you prepare for both the expected and unexpected through years of experience and a fierce dedication to our clients. From establishing trusts to designing business succession plans, we are here to fight for you.

At CDH we offer a "Will Package" that includes 4 necessary documents.

If a husband and wife each purchase reciprocating will packages we give a discount. Reciprocating just means the husband names the wife and the wife names the husband. Those four documents are:

  • Last will and testament
  • Healthcare power of attorney
  • Durable power of attorney
  • living will
Free Consultation

Common Documents Included
in Your Estate Plan

As mentioned above, everyone's estate planning needs will be different. However, most plans include one or more of the following documents:

1.

Will

Your will is an essential piece of documentation and is often considered the cornerstone of a proper estate plan. Generally speaking, your will is a document that dictates the distribution of your assets after your death. Having an iron-clad will is one of the best ways to make sure that your wishes are communicated clearly. As is the case with most estate planning, it is highly recommended that you work with an estate planning attorney in Myrtle Beach, SC, to create and update your will.

The contents of a will typically include:

  • Designation of the executor, who is responsible for adhering to the provisions of your will.
  • Designation of beneficiaries – the people who will be inheriting your assets
  • Instructions that dictate how and when your beneficiaries will receive assets.
  • Instructions that assign guardianship for any minor children.

Without a will in place, the State of South Carolina will decide how to distribute assets to your beneficiaries. Allowing the state to distribute your assets is often an unfavorable route to take, since the settlement process may not include what you had in mind for your survivors. Having a will drafted that reflects your wishes will prevent such a situation from happening.

 Attorney Myrtle Beach, SC
2.

Living Will

Despite its name, a living will does not instruct your survivors on what assets go where. Also called an advanced directive, your living will allows you to state your end-of-life medical wishes if you have become unable to communicate. This important document provides guidance to family members and doctors and solidifies certain issues like whether you should be resuscitated after an accident.

For example, it's common to direct that palliative care (care to decrease pain and suffering) always be administered if needed. Conversely, you may state that certain measures are not allowed, like CPR.

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3.

Trusts

Traditionally, a trust is used to minimize estate taxes and maximize other benefits as part of a well-rounded estate plan. This fiduciary agreement lets a trustee hold your assets on behalf of your beneficiaries. There are many ways to arrange a trust to specify when and how your assets are distributed.

With a trust in place, your beneficiaries can avoid going to probate. That means they may be able to gain access to your assets quicker than when they are transferred with a standard will. Assets placed in a trust can pass outside of probate, which will save you and your family time, money, and stress.

There are two distinct trust categories that you should be aware of: revocable and irrevocable.

Estate Planning Law Myrtle Beach, SC

Revocable Trust:

Also called a living trust, a revocable trust helps assets circumvent probate. With this trust, you can control your assets while you are still alive. These trusts are flexible and may be dissolved at any point in time. This type of trust becomes irrevocable upon your death. Revocable trusts can help you avoid the pitfalls of probate but be aware that they are usually still taxable.

Irrevocable Trust:

This kind of trust transfers assets out of your estate so that they are not taxed and do not have to go through probate. However, once an irrevocable trust has been executed, it may not be altered. That means that once you establish this kind of trust, you lose control of its assets and cannot dissolve the trust. If your primary goal is to avoid taxes on your estate, setting up an irrevocable could be a wise choice.

When drafted with the help of an estate planning lawyer in Myrtle Beach, SC, your trust can also:

Protect Your Legacy:

When constructed properly, a trust can protect your estate from your heirs' creditors. This can be a huge relief for beneficiaries who might need to brush up on money management skills.

Privacy and Probate:

Probate records are made available for public consumption. With a trust, you may have the choice of having your assets pass outside of probate court so that they remain private. In the process, you may also save money that you would lose to taxes and court fees.

Control Wealth:

Because you can specify the exact terms of a trust, you have more control over who receives your assets and when they receive them. As an example, you can set up a revocable trust so that your assets are attainable while you're alive. When you pass, remaining assets are distributed, even in complex situations involving children from multiple marriages.

The Top Estate Planning Law Firm in the Lowcountry

If you know that you need to provide for your family and loved ones after your death, it's time to develop your estate plan. With CDH Law Firm by your side, planning your estate doesn't have to be difficult. However, it does need to be accurate and executed exactly to your wishes – something that we have been helping clients achieve for years. Don't leave your legacy up to chance – contact our office today and secure your future generations.

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Latest News in Myrtle Beach, SC

SC breweries fear losing customers to stores with law change limiting 'to go' beer

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WPDE) — The next time customers head to a brewery in South Carolina, they won't be allowed to purchase as much beer "to go" after a law changed.For the past two years, South Carolina breweries were allowed to sell up to 576 ounces of beer to go, but the pandemic-era law expired at the end of May, and now breweries can only sell up to 288 ounces.“It does equate to a case of beer of 12-ounce cans, but a lot of craft breweries now use 16-ounce cans, which is what we use, and so we can&rsqu...

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WPDE) — The next time customers head to a brewery in South Carolina, they won't be allowed to purchase as much beer "to go" after a law changed.

For the past two years, South Carolina breweries were allowed to sell up to 576 ounces of beer to go, but the pandemic-era law expired at the end of May, and now breweries can only sell up to 288 ounces.

“It does equate to a case of beer of 12-ounce cans, but a lot of craft breweries now use 16-ounce cans, which is what we use, and so we can’t even sell a full case," Tidal Creek Brewhouse owner Adrian Sawczuk said.

The brewery is in the Market Common area of Myrtle Beach, and sell those 16-ounce cans in bundles of four, so this new change means they can only sell 4.5 bundles.

It’s just awkward to do that, and then it’s tough to explain to our customers, too.

Sawczuk said the 16-ounce can is a trend for craft beer right now, because people often drink 16 ounces in one sitting.

“Less waste, and easier to transport, takes up less room. It’s a pretty good packaging solution," he said.

The 288 ounce limit is established by a 2010 law, but state lawmakers approved the increased limit of 576 ounces in 2020.

It was extended each time it was about to expire, but lawmakers did not extend the increase this final time, so as of June 1, 2022, the limit returned to the 2010 law.

Faced with the change two years later, Sawczuk said he'd like to see no limit at all, just how it is for North Carolina.

“Try to explain that, right?." he said. "‘Well, I was just in Wilmington and I got three cases, and now I can only get a case and a half from you?’ It’s just an awkward conversation.”

In addition, he said they can lose customers to retail stores, who don't have a limit.

“We have a lot of out of town guests who love the experience, love the beer, and want to bring some home with them, so they can enjoy when they’re back home, or they can share with their family and friends," he said.

Sawczuk said if lawmakers needed a trial and error period, they had the last two years, and from his point of view, everything has been just fine.

Governor Henry's McMaster's office released the following statement to ABC15:

More broadly, I can tell you that this confusion is a result of archaic state laws that regulate the sale of alcohol in South Carolina and that the governor believes the General Assembly should take a hard look at how we can responsibly reduce the regulatory burden on these businesses.

Myrtle Beach Memorial Day crowds in 2021 were huge. Will this year be any different?

Last year, Myrtle Beach businesses wanted to open “the floodgates” to tourists, hoping to see as many visitors as possible.They sure got it. The occupancy rate for hotels and vacation rentals like Airbnb hovered near 90% during the weekend, according to the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce. Restaurants and attractions had hours long wait times. Concerts were booked out well in advance. And traffi...

Last year, Myrtle Beach businesses wanted to open “the floodgates” to tourists, hoping to see as many visitors as possible.

They sure got it. The occupancy rate for hotels and vacation rentals like Airbnb hovered near 90% during the weekend, according to the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce. Restaurants and attractions had hours long wait times. Concerts were booked out well in advance. And traffic? Oh, the traffic was endless.

But what about this year? Will crowds be just as huge? Will Myrtle Beach be overwhelmed with visitors?

The answer can’t be known for sure until the weekend arrives, but there are some signs that tourism has calmed down a bit compared to last year.

For one, the Chamber expects hotel occupancy to be about 80%, lower than the holiday weekend last year. Businesses are also a lot more prepared, Chamber CEO Karen Riordan said. Many of them started hiring as early as November of last year in preparation for spring. Also, the buildup of tourism season has been much slower. Rather than a deluge of visitors starting in March that never let up, growth this season has been much more gradual, Riordan said.

“2021 was a bit of an anomaly, not really consistent with anything else because so many people didn’t travel in 2020 and they sort of made up for that demand in 2021,” Riordan said.

So, if you’re heading to Myrtle Beach for Memorial Day weekend here’s what to expect as the Grand Strand celebrates the unofficial start to summer.

Hotels and vacation rentals have filled up slowly throughout the season, going from 30-40% occupancy before March to 60-70% most weeks now, with higher rates on the weekends, according to the Chamber.

“By not having this big surge of business like we saw in 2021, we’ve been able to handle the workforce situation a little bit more calmly,” Riordan said. ”This is the new normal now, so we’re better prepared. We know how to do this, and we’re getting to be pretty resilient.”

Hotel occupancy is overall lower than last year, but the cost of a stay has gone up considerably, especially for those booking at the last minute.

The Chamber’s lodging metrics show hotel rooms cost an average of 10-30% more than last year. Vacation rentals, such as Airbnb and VRBO, are even worse, with some weeks showing they are 45% more expensive per night than last year.

Restaurants are likely to be more pricey than they have been in past years, as inflation has eaten into budgets and driven up the cost of labor and food. Many restaurants still are struggling to find enough workers and have shortened their operating hours.

“Some businesses have decided that they are going to close on Sunday, even though, in theory, visitors would still be here,” Riordan said. “But let’s face it, a lot of them check out at 11 and then maybe go to the beach or they may start their journey home.”

And now it looks like businesses might not ever find those workers. Last week, South Carolina reported it had finally recovered the total number of jobs it lost at the start of the pandemic. The data has shown how many hospitality workers are not unemployed anymore — they left the industry altogether for something else, often something less stressful or higher paying, Federal Reserve economist Laura Ullrich said.

“All these jobs are hard jobs that have gotten harder due to COVID and the recovery most likely, and they’re also not really very high-paying sectors,” Ullrich said. With so many other jobs open, “it makes it very difficult to fill those positions in the lower wage, potentially higher stress sectors.”

To keep up, businesses will have to adapt, Riordan said, and automate wherever they can.

“People are being very creative,” she said. “They are being very resilient. And they’re saying, ‘This is what I need to keep the workforce that I have have sane and stable and rested and in a position to do their job and do it well.’”

The Myrtle Beach airport was one of the most obvious places that struggled to handle the surge in visitors in 2021, with lines just to get through security sometimes exceeding an hour and rental car lines running late into the night. This time around, the airport said it is better equipped for summer crowds. The Transportation Security Administration made some changes halfway through summer to speed up security processing, which cut down the lines considerably.

However, airlines such as Avelo, Southwest, Spirit and Frontier keep adding new flights to their schedules for Myrtle Beach. That means there will be a lot more people going through the airport, so keep these tips in mind:

With crowds come crowded beaches, and crowded beaches bring lots of shading devices. If you’re planning to bring a Shibumi Shade — those tents that often span 10-15 feet and fly overhead with two poles on either side — don’t. They are banned in North Myrtle Beach May 15 to Sept. 15. Only regular beach umbrellas are allowed. The rules are the same in Myrtle Beach from Memorial Day through Labor day. Surfside Beach allows tents, but they must be less than 10 feet by 10 feet in size.

Visiting the beach won’t be all sunshine, rainbows and umbrellas. Here’s what to know the two biggest complications ahead: weather and traffic.

Want something specific to do? Here’s two of the top highlights for events this weekend.

And remember, COVID is still in the air. If you are worried about getting it, make sure to practice social distancing, wear a mask and wash your hands often.

“Some of our residents wear masks and gloves when they are out. Please respect their choice. They may be in higher risk categories,” North Myrtle Beach said in its Memorial Day advisory. “We sometimes hear people say, ‘If you’re afraid, stay home.’ We remind you that this is their home.”

North Myrtle Beach has also banned all open fires and grilling on its beaches, a change from previous years.

Finally, don’t forget to put on sunscreen! Nobody wants to return to work or school looking like a tomato.

This story was originally published May 26, 2022 5:00 AM.

My son has autism. Here’s how the travel industry is supporting families with children on the spectrum

Surfside Beach and neighbouring Myrtle Beach, S.C., are the first officially autism-friendly beach destinations in the United States. Plus, how to plan an autism-friendly trip.At Surfside Beach, warm waves crash onto powdery sand that stretches for miles. My 14-year-old son jumps each curl of white foam with enthusiasm, hands flapping in excitement. Bennett, who has autism, loves beaches and the sensory stimulation provided by big waves and soft sand.He could stay in the water for hours.There are surf breaks backed by ...

Surfside Beach and neighbouring Myrtle Beach, S.C., are the first officially autism-friendly beach destinations in the United States. Plus, how to plan an autism-friendly trip.

At Surfside Beach, warm waves crash onto powdery sand that stretches for miles. My 14-year-old son jumps each curl of white foam with enthusiasm, hands flapping in excitement. Bennett, who has autism, loves beaches and the sensory stimulation provided by big waves and soft sand.

He could stay in the water for hours.

There are surf breaks backed by windblown dunes up and down the eastern seaboard, but Surfside Beach and neighbouring Myrtle Beach, S.C., are the first officially autism-friendly beach destinations in the United States.

Their commitment to inclusion goes far beyond the therapy provided by immersion in nature, and makes it easier for families like ours to enjoy a vacation.

Many restaurants, hotels and attractions in the area are autism-certified through the Champion Autism Network (CAN). Becky Large, who has a son on the spectrum, started the non-profit organization in Surfside Beach after moving here in 2012.

She realized the travel destination didn’t provide much support for local families — let alone tourists — whose children had been diagnosed with the developmental delay.

Autism is believed to affect one in 50 Canadian kids and youth, according to the latest report by the Public Health Agency of Canada, and it impacts how they interact with others, behave, communicate and learn.

CAN began by offering sensory-friendly movies for families, with dim lights and quieter sound, and grew to include measures at restaurants, hotels and attractions. In 2016, the Surfside Beach town council issued a proclamation that the destination was “autism friendly.”

“We started inviting all autism families to come play at the beach,” says Large.

Staff at participating businesses now complete online training to better understand autism, and how they can recognize and support someone with the condition. An autism-friendly hotel would endeavour to check a family into a room far from the noisy ice machine and elevators, for example, while a restaurant could seat them in a quiet booth.

“A person with autism might have a tantrum or meltdown, so a restaurant could prepare to put the food in to-go boxes, before it’s even come out,” explains Large of the considerations that could be taken.

This effort toward inclusion isn’t unique to the Grand Strand, South Carolina’s 97-kilometre arc of pristine beaches on the Atlantic coast. It’s part of a larger tourism industry trend, which is also seeing all-inclusive resorts like Beaches in the Caribbean and cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean offer dedicated programming tailored to travellers on the spectrum.

In addition to Surfside Beach and Myrtle Beach, cities like Mesa, Ariz., and Palm Springs, Calif., are aiming for destination-wide certification of hotels, restaurants and attractions, too.

Speaking from my own experience going places with Bennett, it’s a welcome shift. It’s a relief to travel among other families who “get it,” and to know that staff understand my kid’s quirks and won’t give me stink-eye if he has an outburst.

With a growing number of options now available, there are certified autism travel professionals to help families plan and book a holiday.

Victoria, B.C.-based autism travel adviser Angela Faminoff points clients toward destinations that are a good fit for their needs and interests. Since a whopping 87 per cent of families with a member on the autism spectrum don’t travel at all, according to a study by autism credentialing agency IBCCES, Faminoff’s job is to help families feel comfortable enough to leave home.

“That’s where I come in and say, ‘Let’s look at these places because your child will be embraced,’” says Faminoff, who calls restaurants, hotels and attractions in advance to make sure they can accommodate her families.

“It takes that pressure off,” she says. “It’s hard enough to plan your own trip, but when you have a child with autism or an intellectual disability, that adds an extra layer.”

In Surfside Beach and Myrtle Beach, families can get support with a CAN card, which can be requested online and discreetly lets staff know that someone in the party has autism.

We use our card at Johnny D’s Waffles and are seated in a quiet corner booth. When it’s time to pay for breakfast, the card also gets us a 10 per cent discount. Owner Jamie Daskalis has a 10-year-old son with autism, so it was important to her that her three restaurants participate.

“We let autism families jump to the front of the line and expedite their food, and if they need to bring outside food in, we allow that,” says Daskalis, who wants to make it easy for families to dine together. Johnny D’s even has noise-cancelling headphones available to borrow if the restaurant is busy and loud.

A number of area attractions are autism-certified, too. We get front-of-the-line privileges at the SkyWheel (kids with autism notoriously hate waiting in long queues), and are soon spinning high above the beach, with views of the ocean, boardwalk and rides that make Myrtle Beach a family magnet.

Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach holds regular sensory-friendly days and even has a quiet room (with a private view of the shark tunnel), where overwhelmed kids can go to decompress. We visit in the evening when the crowds have thinned out, and we basically have the soothing fish tanks to ourselves.

But more than built attractions, my son loves nature, and this part of South Carolina delivers beyond the beach. On our final day, we head out on a kayak tour to look for critters like the American alligator in the cypress swamp along the edge of the Waccamaw River. Hastings Hensel, a guide with Black River Outdoors, says they get a number of guests with autism and I can see why.

Seated in the front of our tandem kayak, Bennett is calm and engaged during the meditative two-hour paddle beneath cypress trees and swamp oaks dripping with Spanish moss.

We spot a bright yellow prothonotary warbler flitting between the branches of a gum tree, a green heron looking for fish, and an osprey circling above its nest. Bennett is even convinced he sees an alligator lurking in the shallows, but it’s just a log bobbing in the tea-coloured water.

Still, Bennett’s two favourite things in South Carolina? “The alligator and the big waves.”

With its fine balance of nature’s therapy and autism-certified businesses, it’s easy to see why families like ours are coming to play at the beach.

Writer Lisa Kadane travelled as a guest of Visit Myrtle Beach and Discover South Carolina, which did not review or approve this article.

How to plan an autism-friendly trip

Choose an inclusive place: Both championautismnetwork.com and autismtravel.com list destinations, attractions and hotels/resorts that are autism-certified or autism-friendly.

Book with a specially trained expert: Consider using a certified autism travel professional (CATP) to help plan and book your trip. You can search the registry at ibcces.org.

Prepare your child pre-departure: This could entail making a story, or document with words and pictures that tell and show where you’ll be staying and what you’ll be doing. Include any travel requirements, like COVID testing, so there won’t be any surprises. (If wearing a mask in-flight is an issue for your child, you can request an exemption from this rule through your airline.)

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Wages have increased dramatically in Myrtle Beach, study says. Local businesses react

Some economists have dubbed the national labor market crisis, “The Great Resignation.” However, data shows that South Carolina’s labor market is dynamic, and local businesses agree.A press release from the South Carolina Department of Labor (DEW) shows that weekly wages in the Myrtle Beach metropolitan area have increased by 20.6% in the past two years, making it the highest in South Carolina.Store owners and employ...

Some economists have dubbed the national labor market crisis, “The Great Resignation.” However, data shows that South Carolina’s labor market is dynamic, and local businesses agree.

A press release from the South Carolina Department of Labor (DEW) shows that weekly wages in the Myrtle Beach metropolitan area have increased by 20.6% in the past two years, making it the highest in South Carolina.

Store owners and employees in the Market Common area have agreed that this is a transitional period rather than a mass exodus of America’s workforce.

Orvis, a clothing store in Market Commons, offered employees a performance based raise in January, and a cost of living raise this time last year. Store manager Chris Wait said that the raises were necessary.

“I think we are in a situation where you almost have to give raises in order to retain your staff,” Wait said.

It’s true that many South Carolinians have quit their jobs recently. About 90,000 workers quit their jobs in March 2022. However 122,000 were also hired that month, according to preliminary, seasonally adjusted data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Bryan Grady, SC Department of Labor and Employment Labor Market Information director, said one of the factors contributing to this is Myrtle Beach’s tourism industry. Unskilled labor, such as in the hospitality and leisure industry, has seen a higher turnover rate in the past two years.

“While there has been an increase in job turnover, the data clearly indicate that the number of people working in South Carolina has never been higher,” Grady said in a press release.

Mike Palermo, a manager at King’s Street Grille in Market Common said many workers he knows in the area have either gotten raises, or switched to jobs with higher wages.

“We are definitely hiring at a higher rate now for multiple hourly positions than we were a year ago,” Palermo said.

The unemployment rate fell to 3.3% in April according to the BLS, and has been steadily declining since December.

“It’s signs of a dynamic labor market,” Grady said.

‘Illumination park’ in Myrtle Beach brings dazzling light displays to Broadway at the Beach

Broadway at the Beach is getting a new massive new restaurant and bar — The Hangout — in the coming weeks, and it will be joined by a spectacular outdoor light display.On June 2, “Illumination Park: An Art Experience” opens to the public across the lawn from The Hangout. The exhibit and the restaurant a part of the new Key West Village section of Broadway at the Beach.“This art experience offers a visually vibrant and interactive backdrop for our guests to create life-long memories,” April De...

Broadway at the Beach is getting a new massive new restaurant and bar — The Hangout — in the coming weeks, and it will be joined by a spectacular outdoor light display.

On June 2, “Illumination Park: An Art Experience” opens to the public across the lawn from The Hangout. The exhibit and the restaurant a part of the new Key West Village section of Broadway at the Beach.

“This art experience offers a visually vibrant and interactive backdrop for our guests to create life-long memories,” April Dendy Martin, senior vice president of Broadway at the Beach owner Burroughs & Chapin, said in a statement. “As part of our redevelopment efforts at Broadway at the Beach, we’re committed to creating unique experiences like Illumination Park to enhance the quality of life of our community.”

The exhibit is “magnificent from day to night,” according to a press release from Broadway at the Beach. The shopping and entertainment center said the art display will include “Electric Dandelions” with light displays that will mimic fireworks; “Cloud Swings” that change colors while the guests swing below; and “Evanescent,” giant glowing orbs that change colors.

Work by local artist Jim Swaim also will be featured in the exhibit with a colorful crab sculpture that is meant to represent environmental preservation, Broadway at the Beach said.

“At The Hangout, we create experiences that bring generations together and art is a big part of that. We’ve gathered an assortment of unique art installations curated especially for the Myrtle Beach location. We like to make sure our visitors aren’t just observers — they become participants in the fun,” The Hangout’s owner Shaul Zislin said in a statement. “Illumination Park is an immersive experience that will also bring generations together by providing people a place where excitement and adventure await.”

The Hangout and “Illumination” come to Broadway at the Beach as the shopping and entertainment center has undergone some major changes in recent years. The last two night clubs at Broadway, Oz and Malibu’s Surf Bar, closed permanently in 2020. In November 2021, Señor Frogs started closing earlier and no longer transformed into a dance club on weekend nights.

A year later the Wonders Theatre returned to Broadway at the Beach in a new venue, the former Oz night club, after a two-year hiatus. Soon, The Hangout, a massive restaurant and bar that will offer live music and requires nearly 300 employees to operate, will open as well.

The “Illumination” exhibit is just the first step in the expansion of art displays in the Key West Village area at Broadway at the Beach. In the coming months, permanent murals will be painted on the buildings, and the shopping center said additional art might be added later in the summer to Illumination Park.

Future expansions of the Key West Village are planned, too, including new “specialty retail concepts” that have not yet been announced.

The area where Key West Village is located once contained the AMC Classic Broadway 16 movie theater, Dragon’s Lair Fantasy Mini-Golf, Pavilion Park East and MagiQuest. They were all demolished by late 2019.

This story was originally published May 26, 2022 5:00 AM.

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