$54 million in ad tax dollars, yet Myrtle Beach Hotels down by 20 percent July 4th.

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David Hucks
David Huckshttps://myrtlebeachsc.com
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 MyrtleBeachSC.com

Recently, the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce released data showing a decrease in lodging occupancy. Myrtle Beach Hotels will lose tens of millions this peak summer season.

The booking numbers for the week of June 11 through 17 are down about 20% from last year.

Myrtle Beach is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Horry County. The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce receives $54 million annually in tax payer funded ad dollars to promote the area.

Summer should be the most popular time to visit the tourist destination. Despite the tax funding, Myrtle Beach Hotels are down 20 percent July 4th week in 2023.

According to Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce projections, occupancy rates will be around 70% from June 22 through July 21.

There are a lot of factors that go into it. Rates can drop every day, they fluctuate. It all depends on the bookings, what’s available,” Samone Bellamy, employee at Aqua Beach Inn, told WPDE News.

According to the same data, room rates for Myrtle Beach Hotels are down 13% from 2019 for the week of June 11 through 17. When room rates and hotel occupancy are both down in peak season, millions of dollars are lost in the local economy. “You just can’t get those peak weeks back,” says former Myrtle Beach Hotel owner Karon Mitchell.

The number of open rooms leading up to the Fourth of July is still unusual, even with the current economic state.

Myrtle Beach’s Aqua Beach Inn is located in the heart of downtown.

According to Bellamy, the city’s lower occupancy predictions coincide with the Aqua Beach Inn’s 4th of July availability.

She said, “I think people are waiting to see if the rates drop. It’s more related to how the economy is going and the expenses people can actually afford.”

Although the summer is a busy time, Bellamy says many visitors are waiting to book rooms.

People tend to book last minute. If we do get fully booked at the last minute, then a lot of people wander around looking for vacancies at hotels. We’re full at the last minute, so there are so many people waiting for reservations,” she said. People wait until the last minute, and we’re fully booked.

Bellamy said the economy is the reason for their high availability.

Due to the economy, we aren’t getting fully booked for the Fourth of July yet. Therefore, it’s limiting the amount that people can actually spend,” she said.

“It’s strange because we are usually fully booked up, booked in advance. It’s just normally very busy,” Bellamy said.

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