Juan Molina, who owns Sugar Twist on Ocean Boulevard told MyHorryNews last week that he was frustrated. Most downtown merchants are upset because of a lack of Summer peak season business inside their stores.
Molina commented during last week’s Country Music Festival, ” This is just terrible, there’s no people.”
For downtown merchants, there are only six peak weeks of Summer and only six opportunities to make a season.
This weekend, complaints run the same. This week it’s all about empty hotel rooms and what downtown merchants call the “100 milers.”
The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce receives $24 million in tourist advertising dollars each year to attract clients. Merchants can’t understand why other city chambers, with less dollars are attracting a higher end clientele.
One hundred milers are the names merchants have given to tourists who pour into the city the second week of June. Most live within 100 miles of the city of Myrtle Beach. Many are high school graduates up to college aged students. Most are budget minded minorities.
As such, most of these tourists spend little money in area restaurants and stores.
Stores continue to close in the downtown area as the city works to re-develop the landscape hoping to create a comprehensive private-public partnership with one large, tax subsidized developer.