THE GOOD BIKING folks in and around the Myrtle Beach area have a message for the rest of the motorcycling world: the city of Myrtle Beach may be verboten for bikers, but the rest of Horry County isn't.
In fact, the 69th annual Bike Week will still take place along the area's Grand Strand in May. From Murrells Inlet to Little River, other communities within Horry County are gearing up to welcome bikers, says Mike Shank, marketing director for Myrtle Beach Harley-Davidson.
Shank is trying to get the word out that a cadre recently imposed laws targeting bikers will only affect those who enter the Myrtle Beach city limits. (Further coverage here.)
“Many tourists wrongly believe that Myrtle Beach is synonymous with the 60-mile-long ‘Grand Strand’ that is visited by more than 14 million tourists annually,” Shank says. “In reality, the city of Myrtle Beach is just a small town inside of Horry County. It only has 25,000 residents. To the north, south and west of Myrtle Beach is the much-larger Grand Strand community where there are many restaurants, bars, recreational facilities and accommodations. Horry County has more than 250,000 residents and they are preparing their businesses to welcome bikers.
“Unfortunately, information being sent out by Myrtle Beach and its Chamber of Commerce paints good, law-abiding motorcycle riders with the same broad brush as those who have broken laws in the past," Shank adds. "In addition, their misinformation does not accurately portray the views of Horry County residents. The majority of people and businesses look forward to biker tourism and many rely on Bike Week to provide a significant portion of their yearly income.”
The city recently established a Web site called Myrtle Beach Biker Info (myrtlebeachbikerinfo.com) that spells out the reasons why the South Carolina town no longer welcomes rallies.
Shank explains that there will be plenty of activities and places to hangout outside the city limits and encourages everyone to be aware of the new laws and where they will be in effect. (continued)