“Numbers from DataUSA show that with 344,147 residents, Real Estate is the top industry in Horry County, followed by Residential Spending including Health Care and Social Assistance. Tourism is now a distant third and will likely never be the leading industry again. “
In a recent news article published by WBTW news, Victor Shamah (owner of the Bowery) in Myrtle Beach said, “Really we’re doing a 10th of what we could be doing – what we should be doing in this area for this time of year.”
The Bowery is a long established bar on Ocean Boulevard in Myrtle Beach. The country music band Alabama was famously launched from this location.
Coronavirus accelerated the demise of an already “at risk” Myrtle Beach Tourism industry.
July 4th week, Myrtle Beach was officially labeled a Coronavirus Hot Spot. Multiple Governors told their residents that visits to Myrtle Beach would require 14 day quarantines when those residents returned home. This effectively killed the peak travel month of the year for all things tourism.
Already in decline
Myrtle Beach tourism was already showing decline over the past 3 years. Ongoing beach bacteria issues, as well as, years of downtown violence scared off most average American families.
Numbers produced by Coastal Carolina’s CLAY BRITTAIN JR. CENTER FOR RESORT TOURISM show tourism’s dramatic decline in Summer 2020.
Midweek occupancy is down 29%. Overall occupancy is down 22.3%.
Average rate charged for a hotel room is down 23.1% through July 18th.
REAL ESTATE IS NOW KING
Even with the Coronavirus pandemic, real estate in Horry County continues to flourish. In June 2020 Single Family home sales were up 9.3%. 956 homes sold in June.
Condo sales were up 2.5%. 532 condos sold in June 2020.
RESIDENTIAL PURCHASING IS KEY ECONOMIC DRIVER
Numbers from DataUSA show that with 344,147 residents, Real Estate is the top industry in Horry County, followed by Residential Spending including Health Care and Social Assistance. SOURCE: https://datausa.io/profile/geo/horry-county-sc
The drivers behind Residential Spending are purchases made by residents from social security payments received from the Federal Government, coupled by retiree spending from life long savings, such as 401k plans.
According to Horry County government’s Imagine 2040 plan, 37% of all current residents are fifty years old or older. They are also among the most affluent residents in the county. Most moved to the area upon retirement.
Working families make up about half of all resident spending in Horry County.
The 2040 plan has Horry County growing to 584,500 residents by 2040.
I-73 and A Hotel Casino won’t help
Even if local tourism leaders are able to pull of a miracle casino bill in Columbia, S.C. and find the funding to build I-73, the numbers provided by county government indicate that tourism will never again be the economic leader for Horry County.
Projections are that resident spending will supplant real estate as the number one economic engine by the year 2030.