Bad Myrtle Beach Marketing, Bad Traffic Plan, Bad Brand equals bad business

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David Hucks
David Hucks
David Hucks is a 12th generation descendant of the area we now call Myrtle Beach, S.C. David attended Coastal Carolina University and like most of his family, has never left the area. David is the lead journalist at

Traffic Pattern, Myrtle Beach Marketing, and Brand are incongruent

The Myrtle Beach Beach Area Chamber of Commerce is pushing a new survey asking locals to rate the organization. The “not for profit” is playing offense after a dismal first quarter in 2024. The survey amounts to nothing less than brand management by the non profit after being exposed for bringing in tens of thousands of illegal immigrants into Horry County, while supporting the NGO New Americans Project.

Thanks to this New Americans Project effort, 25% of all Horry County School students currently do not speak English as a first language.

While the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber is excellent at bringing in illegal immigrants, it’s C.E.O. Karen Riordan informed Surfside Beach that business would be flat Summer 2024. The Chamber receives $54 million annually in taxes to promote the area for tourism.

This is Friday night on the boulevard? This is what Myrtle Beach is now? No people. No customers. Empty sidewalks,” Thomas Crowder, owner of the Baywatch Bar and Grill told the Post and Courier on April 26th. “We should be inside cooking and slinging drinks. This isn’t right. We aren’t going to make it. We can’t make it. The police’s traffic plan is killing us.

Crowder says he will close the business in August if the numbers do not significantly improve.

Flushing Ocean Boulevard is killing business

The Myrtle Beach Police Department met with Ocean Boulevard owners in March explaining a plan called SEVAP. The Summer Emergency Vehicle Access Plan began on March 8th.

The Myrtle Beach Police Department said SEVAP will take place on Fridays and Saturdays at 4 p.m. Police confirm the plan will be in place through the summer.

The SEVAP covers Ocean Boulevard from 16th Avenue to 8th Avenue North. Police said the plan should reduce traffic, making it easier for emergency vehicles to access roads.

Local merchants claim the plan kills local downtown business

Despite this, and concerns like Crowder’s, few merchants were willing to go on camera with MyrtleBeachSC News. They fear retaliation from the city, as well as, the political muscle behind the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce.

The true muscle behind the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce is Political Consultant Walter Whetsell. Whetsell is Mayor Brenda Bethune’s campaign manager. He also manages a stable of local state officials receiving PAC monies from the Grand Strand Business Alliance.

The Grand Strand Business Alliance is the political arm of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce.


The City of Myrtle Beach was down in 2023 as well. MyrtleBeachSC News continued to publish articles of how business was down 20% even during the July 4th peak season week.

Merchants and property managers have asked how is it possible for the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce to spend $54 million dollars in tax revenues year after year, and yet businesses continue to close and struggle?

The City of Myrtle Beach brand routinely gets poor reviews across multiple channels. Here are just two from Quora. FYI: We did not cherry pick these.

Myrtle Beach Marketing
Myrtle Beach Marketing

Ongoing posts on Tripadvisor add a mixed bag to the brand’s reputation.

Sites like HOMESNACKS work to tarnish the brand on the web as well. There are many sites like these who speak poorly of the town which doesn’t help Myrtle Beach marketing.

Says Homesnacks on its site:

  • The overall crime rate in Myrtle Beach is 231.75% above the national average.
  • Myrtle Beach ranks #158 safest out of 168 cities in South Carolina.
  • Myrtle Beach ranks #9,754 safest out of 9,869 cities in the United States.

Are these sites treating the City of Myrtle Beach fairly?

ABC TV ran this viral video on the Myrtle Beach Sea Mist

Certainly, the random website are treating the town as fair as, this above video that went viral on the Sea Mist Resort.

Brand Vs. Myrtle Beach Marketing

In the universe of Brand versus Marketing, brand always trumps marketing.

However, the policing methods employed by the City of Myrtle Beach appear to scare off even more potential investors.

The City of Myrtle Beach purchased $30 million in property on Ocean Boulevard over the past 2 years. Yet, it is unable to find an investment partner.

The City of Myrtle Beach is asking the state of S.C. for an additional $7.5 million to help it in its efforts towards downtown development in 2024.

Can merchants hold out during a summer predicted to be flat coupled with a traffic model they believe is a business killer?

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