Clutching wooden numbers used to mark her address of yesteryears, Vicky Hucks held tight to her memories of growing up on Ocean Boulevard as the hotel her grandfather built was demolished Monday morning.
“My dad always said, ’As long as there’s a 601 on the door, there’s a place to call home,’” Hucks said, fighting back tears.
The Sea Nymph Motel, which opened in 1963, is the first in a string of demolitions planned for downtown Myrtle Beach. In mid-December, the city spent $15 million on 10 parcels of land, including seven hotels/motels, in the downtown oceanfront district. The Sea Nymph was one of those properties.
Horry County land records show the Hucks family sold the Sea Nymph to Academy Way LLC for $915,000 in May 2017, one year before Hucks’ father, Dennis, died. The Hucks’ family also owned the Fountainbleau Inn on Flagg Street.
“Our roots run deep here,” Hucks said.
Hucks said the area declined and her family had health issues, leading them to sell their properties. Hucks grew up in the Sea Nymph and a few other family businesses nearby. One night in 2017, she left Room 125 to buy a loaf of bread only to find a bullet hole in her window and headboard when she returned.
“It was just time,” she said.
With the demolition Monday and the demolition of the Fountainbleau Inn slated for the next two weeks, Hucks said it’s bittersweet to watch the past flattened to make way for the future.
“There are a lot of memories,” Hucks said, recalling times when she went from hotel to hotel helping family members with the daily chores.
Hucks said as the hotel moved down through the family, so did the hotel’s customers. There was a man stationed at the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base whose family always stayed at the Hucks family motels.
“We all just grew up together,” Hucks said.
While she watched a demolition crane rip into the side of the building, Hucks pointed to where Room 102 once stood, the room she grew up in at the Sea Nymph.