Myrtle Beach experiencing slow tourist season - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Myrtle Beach experiencing slow tourist season

MYRTLE BEACH -- Friday is the first official day of summer, and with the Hard Rock Park open along the Grand Stand you'd expect business to be booming.  It's not.

As the price of gas goes up, the number of tourists driving to Myrtle Beach goes down.

A survey commissioned by the Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce determined the price of gas is the number one reason vacationers are canceling their plans.

With high gas prices driving tourists away from the area, hotels are getting creative to lure  guests back.

"We're sending out emails and making up fliers and putting them all in the Visitors Center offering discounts to draw business in," says Deborah Adams from Blue Bay Resort.

There's a twist to the gas price problem.  Some people are actually choosing to drive to Myrtle Beach because it's so expensive to fly to more distant destinations, such as Disney World.

Malissa Skipper and her friends are in town for high school beach week and never considered staying home, but they have changed their driving plans since they've been here.

"We've been walking a lot more, and driving a lot less," says Skipper.

Business owners say they hope to see the number of visitors on the rise once again, and the numbers at the pump decline.

 

Reported by Sarah Warlick

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