MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Thousands are expected to travel to the Grand Strand in celebration of the annual Myrtle Beach Bike Week Spring Rally starting May 7.
Although many bikers usually gather in Murrells Inlet or Little River, businesses across the Grand Strand are preparing for more bikers as many may not have celebrated last year.
Last year, the Myrtle Beach Bike Week Spring Rally was postponed to July because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“They’re here to enjoy themselves, they’re ready to open up. They’re ready to go for it,” said Don Cauthen, owner of Dirty Don’s Oyster Bar & Grill. Cauthen told News13, despite traditions in Murrells Inlet he hopes more people will visit Myrtle Beach businesses this year.
“The bikers might be more apt to visit Myrtle Beach again with the COVID being somewhat toned down,” Cauthen explained. Lodging data from the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce shows bookings are up close to 60% this weekend, compared to nearly 40% this same time in 2019.
Since every weekend has been busy these last few weeks at all three of Cauthen’s restaurant locations, he’s is stocking up. “We’re going to overstock on food and especially we’re going to overstock on booze because they like to drink,” Cauthen said.
Restaurants aren’t the only ones doubling up. The Horry County Police Department will have extra officers on duty. “Uh [Highway] 31, [Highway] 22 – they’ve become race tracks. As you all know International drive, [as well],” said Chief Joseph Hill.
“We do not want to send anyone home in a body bag,” Hill explained. “We want everyone to come here and enjoy themselves.”
Meanwhile, Cauthen would usually schedule more workers during bike week, but with many people not applying for work he’s going to do his best to manage customers.
South Carolina Highway Patrol along with the Myrtle Beach Police Department will also have more officers on duty as this year’s bike week may look closer to years before the pandemic.