SC Now.com: Model railroaders set up shop inside Myrtle Beach Mall
MYRTLE BEACH - Ed Sharrett said he and his fellow Grand Strand Model Railroaders Club members can put up a portable N scale railroad layout in about 45 minutes. He said they take it to shows and demonstrations at nursing homes and schools.
Now, it's set up permanently at Myrtle Beach Mall.
The club is renting a storefront location just down from the mall entrance to Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, and while it's far from complete inside, Sharrett says it's already yielding positive results.
"We've gotten a lot more traffic," he said. "We've had over 1,000 people come in the month and a half we've been open."
But Sharrett also said the new store gives the club and its members a chance to expand and improve the layouts it used for decades in the old space above Ed's Hobby Shop near Five Points in Myrtle Beach.
"It's given a lot more people more stuff to do," said Sharrett. The club is working on an expanded and permanent N scale layout, an HO scale layout, and a Lionel layout.
"A lot of guys are hesitant to build anything (at home), because they don't know how to build it," said Sharrett. "This gives them the opportunity to learn how to do it," he said.
The store also allows the mall to expand the "entertainment" part of the retail experience it can offer customers. The model railroad store is located in a wing near the Lunar Mini Golf and the soon-to-open Let's Go Racing remote-controlled car store.
"It's family entertainment and it generates some traffic here in the mall for us," said Matt Morris with the mall's management office. "We're looking forward to this whole wing and our strategy of becoming more retail entertainment," he said.
The Grand Strand Model Railroaders Club is also gearing up for its upcoming annual show in Myrtle Beach. This weekend's show is Saturday, October 15 and Sunday, October 16 at Lakewood Conference Center on U.S. Highway 17.