The Ocean Forest Hotel was one of the first major hotels in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, U.S.A. The Ocean Forest Hotel, and the adjoining Ocean Forest Country Club and Golf Course, were the vision of John T. Woodside, a textile magnate from Greenville, South Carolina. Woodside's company purchased 65,000 acres (260,000,000Â m2) from the Myrtle Beach Farms Company, which included the land for the hotel along the oceanfront. Woodside completed the golf course and country club in 1928, and turned attention to building a hotel catering to upper-class clientele.
The Ocean Forest Hotel was completed and formally opened on February 21, 1930. It cost approximately $1 million to build, and featured a ten story main tower and two wings standing at 5 stories tall. This hotel was different from all other existing hotels in Myrtle Beach, with many ornate features, like marble columns, crystal chandeliers, large ballrooms and elevators. The hotel property covered 13 acres (53,000Â m2) including gardens, stables and pools. It stood oceanfront near present day Porcher Drive.
Upon completion, Woodside was unable to make the mortgage payments, having lost most of his fortune during the stock market crash of 1929. The hotel, country club and surrounding property were all foreclosed upon by Woodside's bank, Iselin and Company of New York, and remained in their hands for several years. A group of independent investors purchased the hotel and country club, but much of the land was ultimately repossessed by Myrtle Beach Farms Company.
During the 1960s, the hotel did not receive the required maintenance and upkeep and ultimately closed in the early 1970s. The hotel was demolished in September 1974 to make way for a condominium development. Only a round-about remains today where the entrance to the hotel once stood with roads extending towards present-day Pine Lakes Country Club, which was originally the Ocean Forest Country Club and Golf Course.
- Historic Resources of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
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