NOTE: This article has been edited for clarity regarding the original author of the Facebook post.
While it appears evident the City of Myrtle Beach has shown interest the past few months in making quasi attempts at “fixing” some of the cities issues, apparently the tourists have become restless due to the past decade of neglect. Perhaps it’s too little, too late? This week brings another scathing viral complaint from tourists and past visitors and residents. Apparently many visitors book a vacation stay in Myrtle Beach which turns into a nightmare of wasted funds and wasted vacation time. Feeling disappointed they take to social media of Facebook to air thoughts on their stay. What follows is Facebook post which go viral in two days with hundreds of reactions, hundreds of comments, and over a thousand shares. The comments left on the posts are a chilling confirmation of grievances which many local citizens, tourists, advocates, activists and news sites have repeatedly aired over the past decade to virtually no avail. In vain, we all continue to seek the better good for the City, but in vain we are called part of the problem, called negative and admonished that we ALL only have an agenda. Our only agenda is to shine the light on the issues such as this so they can and will be fixed, soon, before our beloved City is no more.
One post that recently caught our attention:
“Dear city of Myrtle Beach. You have invited families here for decades, taken their money and over the course of recent years have began giving nothing back. You have allowed our city and once family friendly vacation destination to be over- taken by vagrants, prostitutes, drugs and dangerous criminals. It has gotten to the point where armed guards are required in your grocery stores and items as simple as toiletries are under lock and key. I can’t drive with or walk with my children without feeling of warranted paranoia or without my young daughters having to look at the underwear of grown men who have no decency or respect. Your tourist shops are filled with scams, your hotels are filled with bedbugs, your restaurants are filled with roaches. You allow tourists on unregistered, unlicensed, untraceable scooters to ride on sidewalks, pass cars in the middle of traffic or whereever without consequence. They hit cars and pedestrians and simply flee.
You have taken and taken and taken from hard working Americans, who have saved for an entire year or more to give their family a much deserved vacation and this is the appreciation you have shown them. I am calling you out Mr. Mayor, City Planner, and Councilman to step up and represent the people you are paid by, or soon you will find yourselves governing a crumbling ghost town!!
#enoughisenough #betterplacestogo” (posted as written)
We have reached out to the original poster Stephen Pitzer and he has verified he in fact wrote the original post in June 2017 and posted it to the City of Myrtle Beaches FaceBook page. Mr. Pitzer was once a tourist but decided to make the Myrtle Beach area his home and he was very upset last year when leaving Family Kingdom with his daughter he heard gunshots, and later learned there had been a shooting. He hoped the message to the City would get their attention, but he verified he has yet to receive a response. Evidently the same message was picked up and changed to fit their scenario and shared by a Rock Hill, SC couple and that message went viral this past week. Reading through the comments on both posts, it is evident there are literally hundreds of people who are not happy with Myrtle Beach and refuse to come back. Mr. Pitzer’s extended family will be vacationing at the Outer Banks and in Florida. He lamented how the other local towns appear to be prospering from the tourists Myrtle Beach are loosing to them. Reading through comments on the posts, there are hundreds who refuse to come back to Myrtle.
Cyndee Burgess and her husband have been coming down to Myrtle Beach for years on vacation, holiday weekends, anniversaries and even for her birthday weekend, staying at the very same motel on 19th Avenue South and Ocean Boulevard each time. She stated they usually go in August but booked for June this year for four adults and and their grandchild. When asked her costs, she stated they spent approximately $2,400 this year for 9 days (not including shopping and entertainment at Broadway at the Beach). As many families they have saved for a year to go on vacation. Regardless of what most believe, vacation is no longer a staple as was once enjoyed by families when the economy allowed one spouse to stay home and keep the children as the other worked 40 hours with full benefits and often even a company car. Times have changed A LOT, as has income, family structure, and yes, even extracurriculars such as vacations. $2,400 is a huge expense no matter what you’re buying. By perspective, in some areas that equals to 2 months house mortgage. As well, as the Burgess family has found by way of Facebook, there are many other destinations that welcome them with open arms, not only for the “heads on beds” , but to assure they receive the service they pay for.
We asked both Mr. Pitzer and Cyndee Burgess what’s the most important issue to them concerning Myrtle Beach. Mr. Pitzer stated, ” As a resident or tourist, safety of my family is paramount.” Cyndee stated “…safety is always first for me and my family. We don’t want to go somewhere that is highly possible not to return home with our loved ones.” Cyndee shared that at the same motel they stayed with, two women with a young child packed and left for safer accommodations.
We wish both Mr. Pitzer and the Burgess family well, with high hopes these issues will be addressed and resolved for not only their family, but for all those who were disappointed on their stay and commented on Mr. Pitzer’s simple and honest post, and Cyndee’s repost. We also have high hope that Myrtle Beach will eventually regain her name a a great vacation destination. Soon.
City of Myrtle Beach, we again challenge you to seek the better good. Seek the better good for not only the businesses, real estate moguls and transplants who can spend $200 thousands for a new home in a new development or a new business . Seek the better good for citizens and tourists alike. Outward appearance show that the City is only interested to only grow the Tourism Development Fee for the Chamber to bring yet more disgruntled visitors to support their fiscal dalliances. Seek the better good for the citizens from each and every border of our City, North to South, East to West. If not, the writing is not on the wall, but in the sand, drawn one day to mimic a castle, only to be washed away and disappear with the next tide.
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Lisa Bean Williams