Update January 31, 2013: Helicopter Adventures saw their day in court and on January 16th the judge presiding over the case ruled in favor of the tour company.
But, that doesn't mean the legal battle is over. Currently their is a motion to reconsider and if that fails the residents of Plantation Point plan to appeal.
Head on over to WMBF News for all the details, read below to catch up on the drama.
Update September 13, 2012: Three of four Horry County Board of Zoning Appeals members voted to reverse their decision and deny Helicopter Adventures the right to continue operations in their current location.
They have the option to either relocate or change the business in their current location. Naturally the residents in surrounding homes are elated. According to this WBTW story, If the helicopter tour company decides to appeal the reversal, the case will be heard in circuit court.
Update July 3, 2012: While it has been determined that Helicopter Adventures was properly zoned on amusement property, Plantation Point residents are not that amused.
The whole mess has caused Horry County to begin a discussion on tighter restrictions on future aerial operations. Because, you know, nothing solves a problem like creating red tape for non-existant future businesses (and also bolsters the existing ones). Whatever new rules and regulations are discussed and voted on doesn't really help the Plantation Point homeowners who have begun filing paperwork with the zoning board. The Sun News has more details on the fiasco here.
Update June 8, 2012: Local media is all over the noise complaints of some residents that live near Helicopter Adventures.
WMBF News talks zoning laws and the lack of laws that would prevent a business like Helicopter Adventures from taking off in a residential area. This may point to a bigger problem in Myrtle Beach zoning, where is the line for residential and commercial? Head over here to watch WAMBF's broadcast.
Additionally, WMBF News has coverage of last night's meeting at Horry County Council during a public saftey meeting.
WMBF News reports that County Planning Director Janet Carter, "defended the Planning and Zoning Departments decision to allow Helicopter Adventures to operate zoned as an Amusement – Commercial Property under Horry County zoning laws, but admitted the laws have not been updated since 1987. Carter also said she wishes she had made a more concerted effort to notify Horry County Council about the attraction before it opened."
Hop on over to WMBF to watch the broadcast and read their write-up.
Conway Journal has a write-up about the noise, hearkening back to noise concerns when NASCAR Speed Park was proposed, "there is no denying that helicopters do make significant noise…in fact they can be clearly heard from the Lowe’s parking lot, particularly on takeoff. It is not a bothersome sound but someone who doesn’t like helicopters would have good reason to make a complaint." Head on over to Conway Journal for their full write-up, they also talk of competition between Adventures and Huffman.
Update June 6, 2012: WMBF followed up on the residential complaints with Horry County Council and it looks like the Helicopter Adventures could possibly be grounded or at the very least very restricted.
The WMBF report is here. The report also mentions YouTube videos posted by residents living around the Helicopter Adventures landing pads. Several videos have been posted here and here's a couple of them:
Update May 25, 2012: Helicopter Adventures are up and running today, but some locals who live near the 21st Ave. helipad aren't too keen on the noise.
While Adventures were given their business licences from both the city of Myrtle Beach and the county today, it wasn't without some complaints from 21st Avenue North residents, read more about the drama over at The Sun News.
It seems that some of the residents of Myrtle Beach sure like the sound of the cash register, but very little other noises that may be needed for that sound of money (bike week(s), helicopters). Additionally, The Sun News, as well as several others pointed out, helicopter tours around town are nothing new.
First Report May 24, 2012: Helicopter Adventures will be offering flights from Broadway at the Beach starting May 25th. This helicopter ride attraction is the first to be an integral part of a shopping, dining and entertainment complex.
Technically, the helicopter tours won't be taking off from the Broadway at the Beach shopping complex, but from behind NASCAR Speedpark. Helicopter Adventures will offer a variety of packages, starting at $20 per person for a two-mile adventure that provides a birds-eye view of Broadway at the Beach. Additional tours will range from two miles to 52 mile flights that will go up to the North Carolina border.
"We're very excited about bringing Helicopter Adventures to Broadway at the Beach. this is an extraordinary complex that is extremely popular and its parent company, Burroughs & Chapin, is well=known for its leadership in the amusement and attractions business. We're delighted that the company shared out vision to make Broadway at the Beach the first such complex in the nation to add helicopter rides to its mix of attractions. Our attraction will add a new dimension to Broadway and its reputation for being innovative, unique and just plain fun."
-Freddie Rick, president and CEO of Helicopter Adventures
A free shuttle service provided by Helicopter Adventures will transport passengers from the core of Broadway at the Beach across Highway 17 to the launch sit behind NASCAR Speedpark. Tickets will be available at the launch site, as well as at their ticket booths at the shuttle stops on the north side of Broadway near Dragon's Lair Mini-Golf and o the south end near Landry's Seafood restaurant. The free shuttle service will run daily from 9:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m.