Myrtle Beach SC airport rental car lot under construction


The car rental area is undergoing upgrades at Myrtle Beach International Airport. TSN File. March 09, 2022.

The car rental area is undergoing upgrades at Myrtle Beach International Airport. TSN File. March 09, 2022.

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If flying can be stressful, then finding a rental car can, for some, be a downright nightmare.

Last year, rental cars were hard to come by for many travelers flying into Myrtle Beach as travel rebounded much faster than anyone expected and Myrtle Beach International Airport had a record-breaking summer for flights.

Now, rental cars are less scarce, but for anyone looking to pick one up in Myrtle Beach, they might wonder where all the cars have gone. The airport ripped up much of the parking lot where the cars were once stored next to the rental car building.

Not to worry; travelers can still get a rental car while at the airport.

“During the busy summer travel season, the airport is working with its rental car partners to provide additional parking areas for rental car customers within close proximity to the existing facilities,” Horry County airports director Scott Van Moppes said in a statement. “Construction activities are not expected to disrupt rental car operations this summer.”

So what is the airport doing with the rental car lot?

MYR is repaving the lot and installing canopy structures over all the vehicle parking spots.

“The new canopies are expected to drastically improve the experience for MYR’s rental car customers, by shading vehicles from the summer sun/heat and protecting customers and vehicles from inclement weather,” Van Moppes said in a statement.

Screen Shot 2022-04-07 at 4.49.08 PM.png
Rendering of how the new canopies will look on Myrtle Beach International Airport’s rental car lot when finished. The construction will be completed by early summer 2023 Myrtle Beach International Airport

The project is happening in two parts. Currently, work is happening on the front half of the lot, which is what passengers see immediately after stepping out of the airport, Van Moppes said in a statement. That’s phase one.

Phase two will begin this fall with construction on the back half of the parking lot, the airport said.

Doing the project in two parts ensures rental car operations can continue without any major disruptions.

There have been some delays, however. Phase one was supposed to be done by Memorial Day. Due to “supplier and construction disruptions,” Van Moppes said the completion has been pushed back. The airport did not provide a firm timeline for when the delayed work would be finished.

Travelers at Myrtle Beach International Airport terminal. TSN File. March 09, 2022. Jason Lee [email protected]

The Sun News contacted the major rental car agencies Avis-Budget Group, Hertz and Enterprise about whether the construction would affect their abilities to keep enough cars stocked onsite to meet the needs of customers. Avis-Budget and Hertz did not respond to multiple requests for comment. A spokesperson for Enterprise said they didn’t have “any details to provide” on the matter.

All of the work on the rental car lot is expected to be finished in summer 2023, the airport said.

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Chase Karacostas writes about tourism in Myrtle Beach and across South Carolina for McClatchy. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2020 with degrees in Journalism and Political Communication. He began working for McClatchy in 2020 after growing up in Texas, where he has bylines in three of the state’s largest print media outlets as well as the Texas Tribune covering state politics, the environment, housing and the LGBTQ+ community.

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