Sea Trail Convention Center scheduled to reopen in the coming months

Sea Trail Investments LLC. purchased the the property for $2.5 million and plan on investing $50 million in an effort to reopen the doors in the coming months.
Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 10:20 AM EDT
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SUNSET BEACH, N.C. (WECT) - There are new plans in the works to revitalize a once-thriving convention center in Sunset Beach.

Sea Trail Investments LLC. purchased the property for $2.5 million and plans on investing $50 million to reopen the doors in the coming months.

The purchase included 40,000 square feet of the Sea Trail Golf Resort and Convention Center which was built in 1999, and about 10,000 square feet of undeveloped land, which they plan to use to add new amenities.

The Sea Trail Convention Center originally opened in 2000, hosting anything from corporate events and trade shows to proms and weddings.

Plans for the property include a 150-room hotel, a state-of-the-art driving range and a new community center with pools and meeting centers. Plans also include completing stormwater repairs and upgrades to the neighborhood.

Some residents are concerned about the traffic it will bring into the community and the potential noise level, but for others, this convention center is how they ended up calling Sunset Beach home.

“A lot of the folks that have retired here have utilized this over the years with conventions. They visited here, they attended weddings here, maybe they were on golf trips with their friends. Then they decided to make it home. So, hopefully, this can be a gateway for the next generation of Sunset Beach residents to find their way to this little piece of paradise, right here in eastern North Carolina,” said Todd Rademacher, community planner for Riptide Builders.

Riptide Builders is currently making sure that the building is up to code, with hopes that the center will stay open for much longer than it had in the past.

“When you go five or six years when having a zombie building, for lack of better words, sitting in your community and you tend to forget what it means for it to actually be open and what that vibrancy brings to the community. So we’re excited about working with the neighbors and working with the town to make sure that this is something that cannot just be a 20-year to 30-year success. This is more of a 50 to 100-year success,” said Rademacher.

Already known for being home to pristine golf courses, having the convention center open again will serve as an additional perk for both the city and local businesses, who will benefit from the increased number of visitors and the jobs that the center will create.

“It’ll benefit the city by bringing tourism dollars to our area that of course boost our economy and it will help with our businesses as well. And to keep businesses in Sunset Beach instead of traveling to the surrounding areas for dinner or lunches or golf or anything really we’d like to all stay here,” said Lisa Anglin, Sunset Beach town administrator.

The convention center is now taking requests for future events that seek to utilize its ballrooms, conference rooms and banquet rooms. For more information, please visit the Sea Trail Convention Center website.