A push to keep bikers out of Myrtle Beach has motorcycle enthusiasts moving north, and that’s just fine with businesses in the Tar Heel State.
It’s Bike Week and the motorcycles keep coming, but this year, there’s one place they aren’t going.
“I think it’s spread out all over the area, except Myrtle Beach,” said James Nickles who like many, is boycotting Myrtle Beach.
The South Carolina city usually hosts Bike Week as the summer revs up, but this year Myrtle Beach passed 15 new rules and regulations such as stricter muffler rules and helmet laws.
Bikers say it’s keeping them away. “The way it looks, they’re doing a real good job of it because there’s no bikes down there,” said Patrick Locklear.
With many bikers boycotting Myrtle Beach for the 2009 Bike Week, North Carolina natives say they’re happy to welcome them to the Tar Heel State.
“Every night we’re leaving here we’re obviously exhausted, but the excitement is there and all the employees are happy to be doing it,” said Janice Noves, co-owner of the Beach House Harley Davidson.
Bikers have shown their appreciation in large numbers, but dealerships aren’t alone.
Local fire departments used the event as a fundraiser. ”Greatest group of people we’ve catered to ever, they’re really happy we’re here, they like the food, it’s, I think, good for both sides,” said Art Thompson of Grissettown-Longwood Fire and Rescue.
Sunset Slush of Shallotte helped many of the bikers cool off. “The one’s that have been here all week have been wonderful and receptive and like I said, we’re just looking forward to next year,” said Laura Scinto of Sunset Slush.
The feeling seems mutual as many of the bikers say they tried to avoid Myrtle Beach altogether for this year’s Bike Week. Even those who drove through the city said they wouldn’t stop to spend any money.