Myrtle Beach’s War on Tourism

I’m reposting verbatim some text from commentor Dennis. I personally think the city government of Myrtle Beach has recently gone insane in their efforts to get rid of the bike weeks in May. Let’s see, during Black Bike Week one local resident shot another local resident, neither one of which were participating in the rally. I strongly believe that a lot of this is motivated by the fact that the killer was black and it was during the Atlantic Beach rally week. If a white guy shot a black kid during the Harley week, they wouldn’t be in such a hurry to commit civic financial suicide.

I’ve seen this happen before. If Myrtle Beach gets rid of the few hundred thousand bikers from May, they will also get rid of the extra trips from those people when they come back later with their families. Tourism isn’t surgical, it is viral. If you get people in for any reason and they like it, they keep coming back. If you send them away for any reason, they stay away. I like this area, I’m a local and I want businesses I frequent year around to stay in business so they are there in January when I need them. I suspect if the rallies magically disappear next year, there would be a chain reaction of business failures and a toilet bowl swirl in the local economy. There are certainly problems with the bike weeks but taxing the residents extra to make them go away is completely insane.

Now, here is the information from Dennis:

Bike Week Update….WE NEED YOUR HELP

Here is the schedule for the next city council meeting:

If you will be negatively affected by the attempts by the City and County to eliminate the Bike Weeks, we need you to attend a meeting at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, June 25th at Revolutions in Celebrity Square at Broadway at the Beach.

The next County Council Meeting is July 1 at 6 p.m. at the Courthouse in Conway.

The next City Council date is Tuesday, July 8. The workshop begins at 9:00 a.m. here at City Hall. The regular meeting begins at 2:00 p.m. at the Collins Law Enforcement Center.

If you are impacted in the least as a business, an employee, whatever it might be. We can’t afford to have government selectively decide what tourists are good and which ones are bad.

And, even if you aren’t impacted, the following statement appeared on-line at yesterday afternoon and should be very concerning. It is not in today’s print section of The Sun News.

Mr. Martino wants to decide which tourists come to town! And, I thought the 3 mills was to get rid of bikers, not to replace lost revenue. I would be worried that your taxes are going to go even higher!

Councilmembers said they hope to see a concerted effort among everyone who’s affected — hoteliers, merchants and the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce — because they will all play their parts in replacing bike-rally visitors with other types of tourists.

“We’re going to have to displace them with the tourists we want,” Councilman Chuck Martino said at Tuesday’s workshop discussion. “Then when the bikers want to come, the hotel rooms are already full.

“But if we don’t replace them, I don’t think three mills is going to make up for the lost revenue.”

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Dave Slusher is a blogger, podcaster, computer programmer, author, science fiction fan and father. Member of the Podcast Hall of Fame class of 2022.

2 thoughts on “Myrtle Beach’s War on Tourism”

  1. Paul says:

    I posted this long comment last week…

    “I’m a full time resident that owns my home inside the city limits. I was shocked with how fast this plan was put through to vote. I’ve never seen a government move so quickly. From my perspective, it appears as though the council is knee jerk reacting to a hot button issue. Even worse, they’re asking for more tax payer money and stealing money from CRPTA to what essentially amounts to a $1M marketing campaign to turn away several million precious tourism dollars. This “no motorcycle events in May” tactic smells an awful lot like the way Burroughs and Chapin handled the Gay Pride/Village People debacle from a few years ago. Coincidence? Doubtful.

    Additionally, Atlantic Beach is pretty clear they have no intention of discontinuing rallies. There have been online comments that some biker groups are going to bring more bikers next year just to spite this push back. I’d also like to address the ridiculous association with the Coastal Carolina shooting with bike week. I have seen absolutely no evidence that those two events correlate in any way.

    Putting a velvet rope around the city isn’t going to do anything but cost us money. By not officially supporting any event and giving our visitors something to do, we’re just giving them an excuse to roam about the city… bored. Look at a small scale example of this lock out method: closing down half of Ocean Boulevard didn’t do anything but push the cruising to Kings Highway. I guess they could check out the mini-Pavilion at Broadway or go to the Sun Fun Festival at Market Common.

    I believe we can do better than discouraging specific groups to visit or making their visit (and our daily lives) miserable. We can enforce our existing laws and think of creative ways to direct and distribute the congestion. You’d think a city literally built on tourism dollars would know better than that.

    Now we’re targeting Senior Week too? Sheesh. I had lunch with a friend visiting with his family from Rock Hill. They’re on their annual visit just as he did when he was a kid. I asked him on his perspective since he’s apparently our choice demographic (straight, white, conservative, middle income, with kids). He said the obvious- that they miss the Pavilion. But he basically said they’re to relax on the beach all day. The Beach. The reason most of us live and visit here. Let’s hope we don’t screw that up.”

  2. It’s not just the local government. The locals themselves seem to have a fair bit to say about it.

    As an aside, anybody that uses the NAACP in an argument against something tends to be a racist. It’s not 100%, but it is close enough for our purposes.

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