Project Blue Dies – RIP


By Paul Gable

Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation president Brad Lofton announced to county council Tuesday night that the agency was discontinuing work on the infamous Project Blue.

This is the same project that Lofton called “Horry County’s Boeing” several months ago.

When the project was first announced back in June, council was notified it was on a fast track with a drop dead date to open by December 31, 2012.

Even though details of the project were sketchy to council and non-existent to the public for the first few months, the project seemed to be moving forward.

However, when local media began uncovering information on the past of Covation, LLC Chief Operating Officer David Rocker, the project slowed down. Covation, LLC was the company that the county was negotiating with on the project.

There is no need to regurgitate the many past problems Rocker brought to the table, but it should not have taken the EDC this long to pull the plug on the project after his indiscretions came to light.

Nevertheless, Project Blue is gone, the county won’t be asked to provide or guarantee over $10 million of county taxpayer money and the total $24 million of incentive money is saved.

Lofton told council EDC had created 400 jobs in the last year. This is not exactly true. The agency has announced initiatives which promise to create 400 jobs within certain time frames in the future. The actual number of jobs created, staffed and working are significantly less.

When Lofton was first hired in May 2011, he promised to product 500 jobs within his first 18 months. That goal was missed as none were created in his first six months and the 400 claimed for this year is the total in that 18 month period.

It can only be hoped projects that may be forthcoming in the future are subjected to better due diligence by the EDC before county taxpayer money is introduced into the discussions.


  1. Why is it when people like John Rhodes or Tom Rice say they have created thousands of jobs, the media has no problem with that?

  2. Because most of the media gives them a pass. Lofton told council he had created 400 jobs to date and not one questioned him even though at least a majority of council members know better and have stated so.

  3. Horry residents need to realize Lofton is not working in our behalf. He is getting paid to hand out incentives to companies to bring business here, all of them receiving have been local, or operating local. It appears he has no out of county or state connections in real industry. The only thing i see is this man is good at getting on tv, and lie about the credibility of companies. I am sorry project av2 and AF are not MAJOR manufactures. Wait when the dollar bounces back against the euro, what the German particleboard furniture company does. Makes me wounder he was brought here to tarnish horry’s already dulled image. Wait another year AV2 will be in front the council probably under a new name, with big talk wanting more incentives.

  4. Lifelong Horry Resident

    My recommendation for you is to take your sister’s underwear off, get out of your mama’s basement, and try to actually contribute something to the world. Until then, nobody gives a damn what you and the inbred Gable write about.

  5. Usually people resort to insults and degrades when their smoke and mirrors job is at stake. As for contributing something to the world, why don’t you explain your devotion to the EDC? Would the county going 1.8 mil on the hole for covation been a good contribution to the world? Explain how the AV2 bailout really helps the citizens of Horry County? Do you think people that have attended our local university and tech. college are going to scramble to work in a t shirt print shop, or cheap furniture manufacture?