Labor Day weekend saw the kind of tourists Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune said she was happy to have in town.
Myrtle Beach merchants, city employees, and those who visited were all disappointed to see barricades placed along Ocean Boulevard, however.
We asked downtown businessman Tuvia Wilkes if the barricades helped. “Not at all… The loop killed the businesses. All the tourist complaining about the congestion…. it is a mess, no one knows how to get through the avenues, mass confusion… Everyone is pissed…. You can quote me… The city is putting the businesses out of business, one empty building at a time, now there’s 147 empty store fronts… please someone tell the council to resign…“
City officials set up the barricades, and a one way directional bike loop, out of concerns about potential Black Bike Week attendants.
For the most part, the black bikers never came. Black bikers were scarce.
Questions as to why the city did not poll hotel data to learn about biker attendance is unclear.
City Employees Upset
One source, who works for Myrtle Beach City Government said, “Make sure you get pictures of all those happy workers who were forced, and threatened with termination if they didn’t come into work today to pick up ALL those barricades. All that OT [overtime] because it had to be picked up today? Think they will be fighting any traffic on the blvd? This is all Janet Curry [Myrtle Beach Public Works Director]. She made these guys do a “dry run” and then forced them to come in on one of our few holidays. I have never seen such hatred for an upper level manager, ever. —“
That one man would be City Manager John Pedersen. MyrtleBeachSC News documented his court deposition in which he states he has no idea what a nuisance property is by definition.
Is there a war on downtown merchants? The merchants certainly think so.