Coaster at South of the Border

cubkev's avatar
Can anyone state how long it has been since the coaster (mouse) at South of the Border (NC/SC - I-95) has ran. I have never seen it running or any of the other rides there for that matter.
Tacky place but seems an ideal spot for a mouse type coaster.
RCDB claims that it hasn't run since 2002.

Its been for sale for 2 years.
I have been to South of the Border many times, on my way to Myrtle Beach. Can anybody offer more history on it? Was it ever a hot spot? Did it ever have a more popular amusement park? And why now is it SBNO?

gary b
The last time I would've been to Myrtle Beach was probably between 86-88'. At that time there were no amusement rides there that I can remember.

I just checked the Wikipedia entry for SOtB and I almost said the billboards extended for two-hundred miles in either direction. They said it extends for 175 miles in either direction. But, I just talked to my parents and they said that doesn't sound accurate at all as that would take it all the way back to Virginia.

They still travel down to Myrtle Beach at least once a year, and they said the advertising has been severely cut down from what it once was and that the signs aren't as glitzy as they once were either. They bypass SOtB now and take the next exit in Dillon as it's faster than taking the 40mph road that goes behind SOtB.

Each one of the billboards features Pedro (their mascot) and has all kinds of crazy and/or bad puns (some of them are listed on the Wikipedia entry such as "Forecast-Hot today, Chille tomorrow!") Now when I would visit, some of the signs had moving parts as well.

I seem to remember many of the billboards featuring discount tickets for Disney as well and the entry also reminded me of one of the number one advertised things down in that area--fireworks.

rollergator's avatar
I've got good pics of the entire park from a few years ago. Stopped by just about a month ago on the way to visit family in NC. The entire "Pedro complex" has been reduced to looking VERY much like a third-world mercado. The overbuilt hotel rooms were virtually all empty, the restaurants mostly closed, and the stores only had leftover kitsch from when the place still had SOME credibility. Now it's a sad joke. The gas station was fairly busy, but that and the hard-to-locate bathrooms had more than half the people in the entire place. Even the fireworks shop was empty. That was hard to believe, an empty fireworks store in NASCAR territory! ;)

The park will NEVER come back. There was one really interesting flat I've never seen ANYWHERE else. There were a couple other flats, and IIRC a pretty cool train ride. Since I'm moving pictures-sites, I'll try and post some links in the next few days.

edit: Time flies. It was over Christmas break...LOL!

*** Edited 3/18/2008 2:38:59 AM UTC by rollergator***

I can't believe I never heard of this place!
If you've never driven down I-95 right below North Carolina, then you probably wouldn't have heard of it. You used to see bumper stickers on people's cars at least locally (Baltimore), but I haven't seen one in a long time.

The billboards did keep things visually interesting on trips to Myrtle Beach or to Disney, as the landscape gets incredibly monotonous after a while. And one can only take so many signs for cheap cigarettes and fireworks.

Lord Gonchar's avatar
We actually stayed there on a whim in October 2002 on our way back from Florida. (I'd highly recommend you don't :) )

According to everyone we had talked to the park was still operating at that time - we just had to hit the road before the rides were up and running for the day.

Somehow I think I'll live. :)

This place is a DUMP and a stain on the state, especially those stupid adverts.

Okay that was harsh, but it is really, really tacky. They have cut down on the billboards tremendously. They used to stretch for like a state in either direction every few miles or so. I saw the stuff operating a few years ago, haven't been back by since. *** Edited 3/19/2008 5:28:24 AM UTC by Willh51***

Whoa, the self-proclaimed hotel snob stayed at South of the Border? LG, I'm shocked:)
I'm pretty sure at one time the first billboard headed south WAS, in fact, in Virginia. I think it was around the 200 mile mark (though maybe it was 180). The billboards were GREAT to a kid as they were the only respite from Pine Forests and swamps as you made your way through NC.
Even when it was HOT (1980's) it was sketchy. Busy, but sketchy. I remember the motel restaurant on the property has some awesome peach ice cream, though, and the kitsch shops were a dream come true. It was like Stuckey's on steroids. We stopped there without fail on every trip from Richmond to Virginia Beach or Orlando during the 80's. My last stop would've been '97 or '98, and it was an utter dump then.

"I've been born again my whole life." -SAVED
Pedro so sad :(

gary b
rollergator's avatar
My first comment after seeing the place this last time..."wow, this is what happens when a dive hits the skids". I'm not one of those who avoids sketchy. But honestly, it's spooky now.

The billboards are still ALL over the place going North, but there *seemed* to be fewer coming home...

I almost stopped here to sleep on a trip back from Orlando myself about 10 years ago. I was by myself and the prices they were advertising from the highway were actually kind of high for the area. I just needed a clean bed to sleep on and a shower so opted for a Motel 6 instead. How gross was it?

I love cheesy stuff so kind of regreted not stopping there but I was by myself and didn't want to be "that guy".

When I was younger my grandparents owned a vacation place in Myrtle Beach. I would always see those South of the Border signs and always wanted to go check the place out. My parents never wanted to. When I got older and got my license I drove to Myrtle Beach myself. I decided to make that stop. I regret ever making that stop. The place was filthy and the food was horrible. Not to mention over priced. I have never in my life saw a place to eat that was so dirty with garbage cans over flowing and all over the floor. I did buy some fireworks but after going to grab a bite to eat and seeing the conditions in that place I just left. Never went back since.
matt.'s avatar

Rob Ascough said:
I can't believe I never heard of this place!

Funny growing up in KY as a kid it seemed like everybody knew about it. But I guess Myrtle Beach was a popular vacation spot, I've still never been myself.

^Myrtle Beach is awesome. Growing up as a pre-teen/teenager in Maryland, most people go to Ocean City, Maryland. My parents were never keen on O.C., so we always went to either Stone Harbor, NJ where my grandparents had a summer place or later on Myrtle Beach.

The water is very warm in comparison, the beaches are nice, and at the time there was so much to do. Granted there still is a lot to do, but it has changed. We lost The Pavillion and gained The Hard Rock park. There used to be a killer go-kart place in S. Myrtle Beach which is gone, but now there is a Nascar park.

What hasn't changed is the one-up-manship of the miniature golf courses. They were heavily themed when I was a kid, and now it looks like they are even more so (there's one with a huge fire-breathing dragon). A simple flat miniature golf course with no obstacles or even the basic obstacles would have a hard time competing.

^^ Having grown up in NJ, I guess it makes sense I never knew about the place!

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