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Archive for the ‘Press’ Category

South of the Border-One of America’s Kitchiest!!

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

A new article rates South of the Border in Dillon, SC as one of the Top Ten Kitschiest Roadside Attracitons in America. We are often called “America’s #1 Roadside Attraction” and we are very pleased to see that a few travel writers are beginning to agree with what millions of East Coast tourists have known for years That South of the Border is one of them most fun diversions along your travels of any attraction in the U.S.

Travel and Leisure Magazine’s list of the Kitschiest Roadside Attraction has South of the Border comig in at #8. This article says “If the Three Amigos had their own theme park, it might resemble South of the Border.” and that sounds like a good description to us. Thanks to writer Jessica Su and all at the magazine. SOuuth of the Border welcomes you all back anytime, along with our millions of other faithful visitors.

South of the Border Sombrero Tower

Sombrero Tower

South of the Border- A Schafer Family Tradition

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

schafer_company_dillon_herald_2
Click image to download pdf (452KB)

Scanned from the Dillon Herald Centennial Edition
02/04/2010 www.the dillonherald.com

South of the Border is in its 60th year of business in Hamer, South Carolina, but its roots in Dillon County extend much deeper. The Schafer family has been an integral part of the community since the 1870’s, not only as residents but as business owners and employers. The Dillon Herald recently published their Centennial Edition and included an article about the Schafer family history, the origins of South of the Border and Schafer Distributing.

The Schafer Company originally began as a dry goods store, and then evolved into a distributorship for Miller Beer throughout most of the major cities in South Carolina. South of the Border began as a beer depot to sell alcohol to “dry” Robeson County in North Carolina, and has evolved into a 300 acre tourist attraction. Each year millions of hungry, curious and weary travelers take advantage of the shops, restaurants, hotel and amusements. Tens of millions of dollars flow into the local economy from taxes, jobs, charitable donations and related spending.

Enjoy this article, courtesy of the Dillon Herald, and learn more about America’s Favorite Roadside Attraction~ South of the Border.

One Sweet Honeymoon Suite

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

70_style_honeymoonAmong the multitude of kitschy, crazy and colorful items you can find here at South of the Border in Dillon, South Carolina is a small world of glamor and glitz know as “The Honeymoon Suites.” In years gone by, the red shag carpeting, beds with mirrors and sombrero shaped canopies made these rooms a surreal slice of 70’s and 80’s society that brought pop culture lovers from all over the East Coast to stay here with Pedro. Our famous billboards that stretch the entire length of Interstate 95 featured ads for the suites with the very clever caption: “Heir-Conditioned.”

Countless tales and photos of happy honeymooner’s from near and far making the trek to South of the Border can be found online in blogs and photo journals. The infamous $99 Honeymoon Special  included the wedding ceremony,  a bottle of fine champagne, free breakfast from Pedro’s Diner and a water-bed equipped suite.

This package was so popular that over a dozen marriages would take place right here on the South of the Border grounds each weekend over the course of a summer.

Currently these rooms have been remodeled and upgraded as part of our multi-million dollar renovation project here in Pedroland. Pedro’s new suites have plush beds with exquisite linens, a posh décor, and big screen televisions. We know you will find the modern conveniences and amenities of our new suites more in line with the comfort that today’s discerning travelers demand.

In addition, all of our standard rooms are being renovated and upgraded as well, while maintaining a very economical price for the budget conscious family of vacationers. If you are passing through with your travel trailer or recreational vehicle, our 100 space campground is the ideal place to take a break from the long journey. We have 30 and 50 amp electrical hook-ups, hot showers, laundry facilities, grills and a play area for the children.

So even though you might miss the Honeymoon Suites with the wild and crazy 70′s vibe, you still have 300 acres of wacky fun, exciting games, delicious restaurants, fairground rides, gift shops filled with gadgets you never knew you needed, and lots more to explore with the entire family. To make your reservations, call Pedro toll-free at 1-800-845-6011 and we will save room for you and the family here at South of the Border in Dillon, SC.

Take a peek at some of our upgrades:

Alan Schafer ~ St. Petersburg Times Article 2001

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

alan_schaferCompiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times,
published July 21, 2001
view article»

Anyone traveling along Interstate 95 has seen them: the groan-inducing, retina-scorching green and orange billboards.

Too Tired to Tango? (Rest Weeth Pedro!)

Pedro sez: Chili today, hot tamale.

Keep America Green! Bring Money!

You Never Sausage a Place! You’re Always a Wiener at Pedro’s!

Keep yelling kids! (They’ll stop.)

For more than five decades, South of the Border has attracted restless travelers, reportedly as many as 8-million a year. The $40-million Mexican-themed complex includes motel rooms, campsites, gift shops, restaurants, an amusement park and a large observation tower shaped like a sombrero. The park, with about 750 workers, remains one of the largest employers in an economically depressed county.

Its mascot is the wise-cracking Pedro character made famous by the billboards and created by Alan Schafer.

Born into a Jewish family in Baltimore just as World War I was starting, Mr. Schafer lived almost all of his life in South Carolina’s rural Dillon County. He was a journalism major at the University of South Carolina, who left during his senior year in 1933 to take over a cafe and a beer distributing company for his ailing father.

After World War II, Mr. Schafer noticed hordes of families from the Northeast zooming down U.S. 301 to South Carolina and Florida beaches. He decided to offer them a place to stop for a meal and souvenirs. He started in 1949, with an 18- by 36-foot, shocking-pink beer stand just south of the state border. The nearby North Carolina counties were dry, meaning it was illegal to sell alcohol there. The next year, he added a 10-seat grill — the South of the Border Drive-In — at the request of then-Gov. Strom Thurmond, who wanted to quiet complaints from anti-drink forces in the neighboring state.

Next came the curios. One night in the early 1950s, a traveling salesman wandered in. He had run out of cash on the way home to New York City from a Miami trade show. Mr. Schafer bought the man’s stock, a collection of plush elephants and bears, for $100. He distributed the stuffed toys around his store. A week later, he had sold them all for $500.

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Documentary Film ~ “S.O.B. and the Legend of Alan Schafer”

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

There’s a new documentary on the way about the most famous Mexican themed roadside attraction in the United States: South of the Border.  “S.O.B. and the Legend of Alan Schafer” will premier Saturday, April 25 at the Charleston International Film Festival. The film examines the life and stories behind Alan Schafer, the heroic figure behind this world famous attraction. Hopefully the film will put to rest some of the rumors and mysteries about Pedro.

“S.O.B. and the Legend of Alan Schafer” was co-directed by  Jesse Berger and Nate Mallard.

South Carolina’s South of the Border: Old-fashioned Americana

Friday, March 27th, 2009

border_signUSA Today article
By Shirley O’Bryan Smith, Associated Press

DILLON, S.C. — What’s kitschy, glitzy and promoted by 175 giant billboards for hundreds of miles along Interstate 95?

The answer is South of the Border, in Dillon, S.C., a 350-acre roadside attraction with shops, restaurants, and some really odd concrete statues, including a collection of iconic Pedros, a cartoon mascot with a Mexican theme.

It’s highway Americana at its best, and if you’re driving I-95, you can’t miss it. But just to make sure, the billboards appear from the Virginia-North Carolina border to the South Carolina-Georgia border.

That’s fewer than in the past, when 250 signs ran from Philadelphia to Daytona, Fla.

Times have also changed the nature of the signs. They’ve become more politically correct by eliminating most of the exaggerated Spanish and broken English puns.

South of the Border has a history as colorful as its lights at night. It actually started as a beer stand. Alan Schafer and his father were in the beer and wine business in North Carolina, but when the area went dry, they moved across the border to South Carolina to set up shop in 1949.

Legend has it that when Schafer ordered building materials a few years later, they were delivered to “Schafer Project South of the (North Carolina) Border.” He thought that was kind of catchy and named his new enterprise South of the Border. From there it was a no-brainer to add Pedro and the Mexican theme.

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