After the past weekend’s violence, the nine mile city of Myrtle Beach has seen hotel reservation cancellation rates from 12 to 30 percent for the Summer of 2017.
Meanwhile, the neighboring, more family friendly towns of the city of North Myrtle Beach, Garden City, Surfside Beach, Pawleys Island, and Litchfield Beach are finding an increase in new tourists.
S.C. Governor McMaster met with Interim Myrtle Beach Police Chief Amy Prock yesterday for an inquiry into what happened and what is needed. The Governor chose not to give either Mayor John Rhodes or Myrtle Beach Area Chamber C.E.O. Brad Dean the photo ops each had hoped for.
The governor did meet privately with S.C. Senator Luke Rankin and S.C. State Representative Alan Clemmons. These two elected state leaders are most responsible for the law that enacted the current tourist tax. Sources tell MyrtleBeachSC.com that the governor was firm in his approach to each, telling them the resources the city needed for policing were available and currently being allocated to the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber through the over $20 million tourist tax.
Governor McMaster then approached the press saying, “We do have the resources and something will be done.”
The governor requested Mr. Clemmons and Mr. Rankin work with the state legislators to re-allocate these resources to the police department and the needed infrastructure investing these dollars directly into the Myrtle Beach brand. The governor does want an amended bill on his desk for re-allocating those tourist tax dollars. Mr. Rankin and Mr. Clemmons now have choices to make.
Both Rankin and Clemmons are Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce insiders and strong allies of the Chamber C.E.O Brad Dean.
Indications are that the city of Myrtle Beach will need $16 million of the $25 million currently allocated to the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber re-allocated directly into city police and resources.
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At at town hall this past Tuesday, the Chamber C.E.O. did say it was an “all hands on deck” moment and that he would re-allocate all resources necessary. However, the next day, the Myrtle Beach Mayor and Mr. Dean each had recanted saying that only 10% of the funds could be moved.
The Governor later visited the city of North Myrtle Beach where he was publicly seen endorsing Mayor Hatley and speaking of “the Paradise” that the crime free and family friendly city of North Myrtle Beach area is.