Myrtle Beach is Dead


To motorcycle rallies. It’s now official the city known for its May rallies that cater to all niches of the motorcycling world is shutting its doors and hanging up a c-l-o-s-e-d sign for big bike events.

In the latest of a saga that began in May 2008 (here) when Myrtle Beach officials starting looking for a way to end the rallies following a shooting over the Memorial Day holiday rally. Since then there have been lawsuits and hearings (here) and a myriad stories coming out about the possible ban.

This month the city and the area Chamber of Commerce launched a Web site detailing a long list of new laws and regulations (check ’em out here) aimed at motorcyclists and the bikes they ride in on. Mayor John Rhodes writes in a letter posted on the site:

This was a difficult decision. Myrtle Beach welcomes visitors year-round, but the giant motorcycle rallies simply grew too large. Our staff, residents and businesses strained to keep up with these huge single-focus events. It may surprise you, but our economy is much healthier with a fully diversified visitor base, instead of a concentration on one or two extremely large events.

Please know that Myrtle Beach is not anti-biker or anti-motorcycle. We want folks to come on the vehicle of their choice and enjoy all of the things Myrtle Beach has to offer. We are ending the motorcycle-related rallies because they grew too big and lasted too long. The huge rallies even kept visitors away from Myrtle Beach, and that’s not good.

Over at the custom builder Cyril Huze’s blog — where Huze has been following the MB fiasco pretty closely — the comments have been pouring fast and furious, with the overwhelming consensus being Eff Myrtle Beach. Despite the city’s claims that it’s not anti-biker most of the comments I’ve read on various Internet forums and comment sections (where there’s nothing but facts) center on the idea that if the city is going to ban rallies, it might as well kiss goodbye to all motorcycle tourism year-round.

One reader on Huze’s blog, with the tag of “Florida Biker,” says:

Let Myrtle Beach have it their way. I can promise you, in a few short years we will be reading where the city now is “Re-Opening” the “Spring Bike Fest”. Well i can assure you they will be hard pressed to get anywhere near the turn out as in the past events. The city will be looking at the budget and see a decrease in sales tax income and wonder what happend [sic].

Another from a reader named HWGTHNG:

I said this before when Myrtle Beach talked about this. Let em suffer. Bikers have no need to beg for places that want our business. Chattanooga TN opened its doors to the biker community not once but twice hosting the State and the National HOG rallys. The “Choo Choo” city is located in the middle of all of this mess and can handle the size crowd this generates.

My main thing about questioning the logic of making a sweeping move like this is the repercussions for non-motorcycling businesses. Myrtle Beach is a beautiful place and I’m sure tourism will still thrive, but from what I know about towns that host large yearly events, the local businesses often rely on those annual crowds to make their yearly nut. For some tourist destinations, small mom-and-pop operations often run in the red for most of the year right up until the returning swarms get their cash registers ringing again.

And then there are the local motorcycle shops and related stores. I can only imagine the pain they’re going to feel from the lost business. Oh well, for those affected by such things in a very real way, remember that most city council members and mayors govern for four-year terms. Voting anyone?

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8 Responses to “Myrtle Beach is Dead”

  1. Gary P. Balcom Says:

    Dont be fooled by myrtle beach and mayor john rhodes. The rallys will go on here at the grand strand and horry county. There web site is misleading. There will not be events within the city limits, but there was never much going on there anyway. The majaroty of the events have always taken place within the county in areas like north myrtle beach, little river, garden city, and murrells inlet. These events will continue to take place. The city has no control over what takes place in the county!!! This years spring rally is May 8th – 17th 2009. If you want truthful information, go to or or . Please pass this info on to everyone.

  2. Anita Hannon Says:

    Correction to the ibiker link. The actual link is:

    All are welcome – and encouraged – to visit our site. There are many local (Myrtle Beach) bikers here that will gladly answer any questions or concerns you may have.

  3. Lux Custom Choppers Says:

    The rally will still go on, just not within the city limits of MB. Past experience is that all of the fun stuff is outside the city limits anyhow. With the advent of Hwy 31 which bypasses the beach, you can now go from the south of the city to the north rather quickly with easy access to all locations on the north end. So make your plans to stay in NMB and north or just south the city of MB and you will still have a blast.

    When you come down be sure to visit our custom shop for Lux Custom Choppers and OFFICIAL Hooters Motorcycles (yes, the wing people), all built here. We are only 1 mile from HB Spokes, the largest biker bar on the north end on HWY 9!!

    See you at the rally!

    Lux Custom Choppers
    Longs, SC
    Minutes from North Myrtle Beach

  4. Matlock Says:

    Screw MB! I love their approach “all you Bikers stay the f— out if you are with your other fellow Bikers (thats why we have rallies), but please come to MB alone so we can still suck your money out of you”!

    The place always had an attitude towards Bikers. In an economic crisis like the present one, affecting this country they way it is and they make a move like this…….how can that not be based on anything other than a prejudice towards Bikers?

    Daytona Beach! See ya in March……with my hard earned dollars in my pockets and my Brothers riding next to me!


  5. Myrtle Beach is NOT DEAD « Dealernews Blog Says:

    […] the area dead to the historic May rallies. If you’ve paid attention to the comments for our blog post here you might know that there are several options outside the MB city […]



  7. Joemama Says:

    Is this economy affecting everyone EXCEPT MB? How can they afford to turn away the amounts of revenue collected by the thousands of rally visitors, vendors, and (unfortunately) law enforcement fines! They would rather trade this for the few dollars that “vacationing families” will bring? I don’t know many people that don’t drop most, if not all, of their vacation funds at these rallies… everything from hotel rooms, to food, to parking, to souvenirs are payed for at these rallies by bikers! Most vacationing families don’t buy souvenirs and even bring their own food to “save money”. Maybe MB should consult Daytona Beach on their spring break woes before committing to this plan. Speaking of DB, it seems we (bikers) are becoming less welcome there as well. Daytona has become alot less hospitable in recent years! It’s high time to find a coastal town who appreciates the revenue and is willing to accept a little rowdiness (within limits of the law) in exchange.

  8. Nightshift Says:

    Please get the word out that the Mayor of Myrtle Beach has launched a media blitz with lots of web sites and even fake blogs, where people talk about not coming or the event being canceled. Some how most of you missed the point. The best thing we can do is to go to the Grand Strand where we are not only welcome by the majority of locals but had expected 2 to 3 hundred thousand to come make a statement. This rally never was hosted by Myrtle Beach .Learn your history. This event started in North Myrtle Beach 70 years ago. So the mayor can not tell us what to do. This year 2009 rally is supposed to be commercialization free. That is because no one knows how many vendors will come due to the confusion. We have more new roads and bridges and a whole new vendor set up. This year is about fellowship and riding; it is about coming together and standing tall. No one has to even ride in Myrtle Beach unless they choose to be part of some kind of organized protest rides. Why would you all just give up when we have almost won this thing? Just because we have a few less vendors. All the great things are still here on the North side and the South side.
    This was expected to be an incredible show of solidarity with us bikers riding around the little city in the middle which is M.B. city limit, while only spending money on the out skirts and that is where we all go anyway. Only the posers, yuppies and drunken redneck crowds like to hang out at Broadway at the beach anyway. Everything else is still here. Myrtle Beach seems to have divided us and so they will win. If you punks just want to stop coming to the Grand Strand just because a few hundred little old ladies and their out of control Mayor has written a helmet ordinance, noise ordinance and what ever else then I am ashamed of you but it is your choice. The people of the Grand Strand never voted. Never said they do not want us, that is a lie. It is a conspiracy campaign of lies is being sent out all over by the mayor henchmen and their Chamber of commerce. If we have a good enough turn out then we will have defeated this little Napoleonic mayor. If you let this happen I assure you that your city could be the next rally brought down by the small minority. We were looking forward to winning this battle; every thing has been going are way. If every one goes to the Grand Strand and spends no money in Myrtle Beach. Then this mayor will be defeated. It has been called Boycott and Mayhem, and it was genius, until all you posers that are not willing to stand up for are rights just whimped out.
    Do some research? Read the true story, do not be fooled by false information, It will take these angry promoters several years to move part of the rally which is what the money people want to do. But in the mean time, we have a point to make. We need to win this. Please just get the facts and then decide. also

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