Coastal Carolina University President Ronald R. Ingle has announced the creation of The Clay Brittain Jr. Center for Resort Tourism in Coastal's E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration.
The mission of the center is to conduct tourism research, provide education and support outreach programs for the tourism industry, the community and students. Researchers in the center will study how resort businesses and communities are developed, managed and sustained. The center's purpose is to increase understanding of the environment for leisure experiences to occur, and for high quality resort businesses and communities to flourish.
"Clay Brittain has been a pioneer in promoting tourism along the Grand Strand as well as throughout South Carolina," said Ingle. "In naming The Clay Brittain Jr. Center for Resort Tourism we recognize an outstanding community business leader who has been a leading force in the growth and development of Coastal Carolina University."
Brittain is chairman of the board of Myrtle Beach National Golf Club, Inc., and is involved in many business enterprises in the Grand Strand area. In 1952, he leased and, with a partner, eventually purchased the Chesterfield Inn in Myrtle Beach, which he managed until 1991. In 1962, he opened the Sea Captain's House restaurant.
Brittain has been an active member of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce since the 1950s. He has served on the board of directors of Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday and the South Carolina Golf Course Owners Association. In 1995, Brittain was named an honorary founder of the university, and in 1997, he received the Jason Ammons Free Enterprise Award from the Wall College of Business. He has been a member of the Coastal Educational Foundation, Inc., since 1976, including a term as vice president. Brittain was instrumental in the establishment of Coastal's Professional Golf Management program, which is sanctioned by the Professional Golfers' Association of America (PGA).
Born in Winston-Salem, N.C., Brittain attended the University of North Carolina.