Effective 2009 Myrtle Beach, SC will no longer host motorcycle rallies

     As a result, the Harley-Davidson Dealers Association Spring Rally and the Atlantic Beach Memorial Day Bikefest will not be held in Myrtle Beach.
     This decision was announced by Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes and is posted on the website wherein he details the whys and wherefores of this decision.
     Among the reasons were “they grew too big and lasted too long. The huge rallies even kept visitors away from Myrtle Beach, and that's not good. “  He even states, “Please know that Myrtle Beach is not anti-biker or anti-motorcycle. We want folks to come on the vehicle of their choice and enjoy all of the things Myrtle Beach has to offer.”, just don’t have fun.  Although later in the letter he adds on “For everyone's safety and welfare, City Council has added a few new rules and regulations. We believe these new laws will make Myrtle Beach a safer and more friendly destination.”  Anyone who attended these rallies recently had a distinct feeling that all was not warm fuzzies toward the bikers from locals and perhaps a little more common sense from both sides should have prevailed before such a drastic decision was made.
     With the US economy sliding off Recession toward Depression, how anyone could say “It may surprise you, but our economy is much healthier with a fully diversified visitor base, instead of a concentration on one or two extremely large events.” is mind-boggling.  He may be singing a different tune as the fully diversified visitor base starts drying up due to astronomical air travel costs, obscene gas prices and simply lost jobs.  Seems to this reporter that the residents and businesses that grew “weary of three weeks of noise and traffic congestion each May” might be enjoying their peace and quiet as they go through bankruptcy and foreclosure proceedings as these “huge single-focus events” benefit some other city with a smarter planning group.
     Granted, any large gathering has its unruly elements, but it’s not like they popped up overnight.  These rallies have grown in size over time and any smart venue takes this into consideration for the next year.  That’s why it’s called planning.
     Although this mandate covers only within the city limits, the surrounding County is still open to the events at last report.  Stay tuned to the individual events’ websites, this one seems good: to see what the ordinances cover and where the city limits are, places that will still welcome bikers for the events, etc.

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