MBACC Targets Horry County Councilmen Over I-73 “No Votes”

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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

In a response to Horry County Council’s 6 to 5 vote against local funding for I-73, this week, Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce C.E.O Karen Riordan fired off what several councilmen are now calling a threat email.

The beginning of the email stated:

If you’re receiving this email it means that your County Council member was one of the 5 members of Horry County Council that displayed leadership and voted for a critical economic development and public safety priority: Interstate 73. Unfortunately, there were 6 members of Council last night that blocked progress on this needed corridor for our area. Make no mistake about it: we need local and county support for this Interstate and there will be additional votes at County Council. Send a message today to your Council member to thank them and encourage them to keep fighting the good fight. We can’t afford not to.

However, as Paul Gable of the GrandStrandDaily states: When the statement, “Make no mistake about it, we need local and county support for this Interstate and there will be additional votes at county council,” was included the email crossed the line from congratulations to arrogant threat.

By ordinance, the issue on local I-73 funding can’t come up again for another 12 months.

How MBACC C.E.O. Riordan believes she can dictate policy to Horry County Council is a mystery to those who chose to vote no.

Gable adds: According to comments I’ve received from several of the six county council members who voted against the resolution, the Chamber email was not viewed favorably by any of the six and apparently the email has stiffened their resolve to oppose local funding for Interstate 73. Even more importantly, the six received numerous emails and phone calls from their respective constituents praising the vote and reiterating opposition to using local government dollars to fund I-73.

The entire lobbying effort for local government funding for I-73 by the Chamber was mishandled from its start. I would submit it demonstrates a clear lack of understanding of local citizens’ attitudes and local politics in today’s environment.


The largest and most politically active hotel group supporting MBACC sold 75% interest of its property over the past 10 days. Brittain Resort Hotels group has been acquired.

Sending out a threat email during this time of high transition among key hotel membership was perhaps not Riordan’s wisest move.

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