The founder of several Myrtle Beach amusement parks has died. How he changed Myrtle Beach

The founder of one of many amusement parks that for decades created memories for thousands of vacationers and Myrtle Beach residents has died.

Jack Lazarus passed away June 15, 2024, according to the McMillan-Small Funeral Home & Crematory. He was 87.

Primarily in the entertainment and amusement business, Lazarus’ amusement parks specialized in racing, and he opened and operated Myrtle Beach Grand Prix and North Myrtle Beach Grand Prix, according to his obituary.

Lazarus also opened the Wild Water and Wheels amusement park in Surfside Beach, which closed in 2022.

Lazarus’ legacy survives him, as his two sons, Mark and Robbie Lazarus, operate Lazarus Entertainment Group. The company oversees Myrtle Waves Waterpark and Broadway Grand Prix, both near Broadway at the Beach and the eatery Lekker Eats.

While Mark Lazarus could not be reached for comment before publication, Lazarus Entertainment Group took to Facebook to pay tribute to its namesake.

“For over 40 years, Jack entertained guests through his parks and set the standard for the amusement park industry,” the Facebook post said. “His vision of entertaining guests through racing and waterpark fun won’t be going to the finish line anytime soon as we will continue to honor his legacy daily.”

Born in 1937, Lazarus moved to the Grand Strand area in 1976 after operating a Volkswagon dealership in his native North Carolina.