Monday, May 12, 2014
Murrells Inlet — Love it or hate it, it’s that time of year again on the Grand Strand. The 75th Annual Harley Bike Week begins in a few days. In fact, some vendors will set up in Murrells Inlet Thursday. Some people there say this could be the most-attended bike week since 2008.
Crooked Floor Tavern has covered all its basis as a first-time spring bike rally participant. The less-than-year-old business looks to take advantage of tourists, over the next 10 days, so it can make its mark on the South end.
“We’re really excited about the spring rally,” said owner Mike Foster.
“We’ve got vendors coming in, we’ve got like 7 or 8 different vendors, we’ve also got entertainment.”
Crooked Floor partnered with Horry County businesses to be what it calls a “preferred vendor location” so bikers know they’re welcome throughout the rally.
“Tomorrow morning, vendors arrive, and actually, Friday, vendors will be on site here and we’ll be open for business for the vendors.”
Less than a mile down the road, bike week veteran Suck Bang Blow continues preparing for crowds since Horry County vendors can’t set up until Monday.
“Georgetown (County) gets a little big of an advantage since they let them (vendors) start on Friday,” said General Manager Bill Barber.
Still, he says, you should expect record crowds for the next 10 days.
“We’re anticipating this to be the best rally we’ve had since the early 2000’s.”
Barber says the end of, what he calls, anti-biker sentiment will keep rally numbers up. As he prepares for vendor business Monday and biker business as early as Thursday, he has advice for the newcomers to myrtle beach bike week.
“This is a great opportunity. The 75th rally and (they can) get their feet wet a little bit, but everyone is going to do really well. The crowd is coming down and we have a lot new businesses on board that have partnered with us.”
Depending on who you ask in Murrells Inlet, bike week begins Thursday, May 8th and ends on the 18th. Barber says he expects about $100 in revenue per biker at his bar.
As of Wednesday morning, Horry County issued 62 permits for the upcoming rally. There are six “vendor zones” in the county. Vendors have until Monday, May 12th to get their permits.
Last year, the county issued 75 total permits.
Georgetown County issued 48 permits so far.
All of its permits are in Murrells Inlet.