The Caravelle Resort
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The Caravelle Motel opened March 1, 1960 as a three story motel with 27 rooms that only had a side view of the ocean. As Hurricane Hazel hit Myrtle Beach in 1954 and many beach homes suffered severe damage, it was believed to be a much safer bet to build the motel perpendicular to the ocean.
The Caravelle Motel was originally conceived and built by George "Buster" Bryan, one of the founders of the Dunes Golf and Beach Club. The Caravelle was designed as a place for members of the Dunes Club to house their guests who came to play the golf course.
The first Myrtle Beach golf package
In 1962, Buster Bryan was in the Santa Maria Restaurant with the general manager of The Caravelle, Joe Thompson, trying to figure out a way to bring more business during the off season. They determined that they could build a vacation package for three nights, a round of golf at both The Dunes Club and Pine Lakes Country Club and breakfast each morning for $34.50 per person. With that idea, Buster drove to Pinehurst, North Carolina, and placed an ad in Golf World magazine. From that point forward, Myrtle Beach became home to the golf package and has since claimed the title "Golf Capital of the World".
Additions and renovations
The Caravelle Motel added an oceanfront addition in 1965, and a fourth story soon after.
It became The Caravelle Resort as condominium buildings were built around the perimeter of The Caravelle. The seven story Caravelle Tower was built and the efficiency units were sold to individual owners. The Caravelle then rented these units on behalf of these owners in exchange for rental commission and became the first property in Myrtle Beach to do so. This rental management company was the first of its kind, but nearly all of the units that are currently available for rental in Myrtle Beach have now become condominiumized. The Caravelle took over the management units in other buildings around the motel building, and is currently has nine buildings and over 600 units.
In 1988, a new ownership group purchased The Caravelle Resort and in 1989 expanded the motel building and it was then known as the Caravelle Hotel. The hotel building featured an oceanfront addition that added oceanfront suites from the 7th to the 15th floors, an indoor pool on the 7th floor and a six story parking deck.
In 1997, The Caravelle Resort completed its most recent addition. The side wing of the Caravelle Hotel was expanded to 15 stories and a brand new centralized check in lobby was built. At this point the hotel grew from 220 units to 360 units.
In 2007, The Caravelle Resort might have completed its most significant change. $8 Million was spent on the renovation of the efficiencies and suites in the hotel building and the units were sold to individual owners. The rooms feature a level of luxury that is relatively comparable to when the motel first opened in 1960. The renovations included: granite counters, flat screen TVs, custom floor coverings and contemporary decor.