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Myrtle Beach History: Long Bay Resort’s Past

Did you know that Long Bay Resort was first called Thunderbird Motor Inn? The Thunderbird, in its day, offered amenities that few lodging choices had and was one of the only true resorts on the strand. The hotel advertised an “Olympic” sized swimming pool and had one of the only restaurants in the area serving breakfast, lunch and dinner during the summer season.

The Thunderbird Motor Inn was a popular choice for golfers. Rounds of golf were sold in packages with rounds starting at $5.50 and golf cart rentals were only $3. This almost seems unreal knowing what today’s round of golf might cost you but remember at the time you could book a nights stay in an ocean front room for only $20.

A corporation from Maryland purchased it in 1987, just before Hurricane Hugo struck the coast. The Thunderbird Motor Inn suffered significant damage to the first floor on the ocean side of the resort. Sand filled first floor rooms within feet from the ceiling. After restoration, the hotel was renamed the Inn at Myrtle Beach, and after some redecorating the Inn reopened to visitors.

In 1996 the Inn at Myrtle Beach was again sold, this time to David Brittan. August of that same year, the Inn at Myrtle Beach was closed to start construction on what is now Long Bay Resort, adding 189 rooms to the existing resort. Condo and multiple room units became a popular feature for the resort. Pool amenities were also added to include a lazy river and tiki bar. Today, the original Thunderbird Motor Inn front desk can be found as the bar inside Martin’s Restaurant.

The once-small but popular golfer’s lodge has now become a full service resort. Golf is still a big attraction for Long Bay Resort visitors. Although green fees are slightly higher than the original $5.50 charged then, Long Bay Resort offers a variety of golf packages and deals. To see there current offerings click  With the upgrades to the restaurant, pool areas, rooms and adding an on site Starbucks past visitors will be impressed how far this resort has come since it’s Thunderbird days.

Want to hear more? Click here to watch our video on the history of The Long Bay Resort.  

(posted 2/17/14)

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