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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 1:33 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2007 6:33 pm
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Location: Chesapeake Ohio
We have booked our vacation Memorial Day week in Myrtle Beach for the last 8 years. We usually love this week because the weather is nice and it still early enough to miss the crowds. However, this year it was a nightmare due to the bike week chaos. We had never had a problem with it before this year, it all seemed to be gone by the time we got in on Monday afternoon but it seemed to linger this year and I have to admit that I didn't feel safe some nights to do what we normally do. Now that I am getting ready to book for next year I am debating whether to move us up a week and do June 1-8. We work hard all year to enjoy our vacation and I am afraid the next one is going to be worse than the last one. The rates are higher the week after so it will cut into fun money but I am very hesitant to come back near bike week again. Since some of you live in the area I thought you might know if I am just being paranoid or I am thinking correctly to move it up.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 5:22 pm 
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Last year there was a string of shootings and deaths here during the Memorial Day weekend bike event. Below are some links you should read and take into consideration. The latest information is that least 130 additional state law enforcement officers will come to the Grand Strand to help gain control of Memorial Day weekend. (You can read the entire stories below.)

You are certainly not being paranoid in thinking about booking another week.

HOWEVER, if you think you can take the traffic plus the extra security people being brought here resulting in more commotion and disturbances, you should call whoever you book with and ask how much discount they will give you for staying with them during Atlantic bike week. Hotels/motels are going to be hurting Memorial Day weekend because of last year shootings and the uncertainty of 2015, and booking people for that weekend at a low rate is better than not booking at all. Matter of fact, I would call around and see how far off the published rates you can negotiate.

Please let us know what you decide!


May 26: Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes:
http://theconservativetreehouse.com/201 ... ee-killed/


May 30: Gov. Haley
http://www.wmbfnews.com/story/25648702/ ... est-safety

And the latest news from 12/2/2014, and updated today:

At least 130 additional state law enforcement officers will come to the Grand Strand to help gain control of Memorial Day weekend, and local leaders are working out the details of training and lodging for them.

The S.C. Law Enforcement Division is doubling the number of officers it will send to the Grand Strand – from 81 to 162 – and S.C. Highway Patrol will be sending an additional 50 officers, up to 206 from 156.

“Obviously we are going to have more officers [in Myrtle Beach] next year,” police spokesman Capt. David Knipes said.
Local officials are still sorting out how many officers will come to the Grand Strand that weekend, as well as lining up training for them from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Law enforcement has been working since Memorial Day to find ways to improve safety on the Grand Strand after three people died and seven were injured in eight shootings on Ocean Boulevard that weekend.

Tens of thousands of people travel to the Grand Strand during Memorial Day weekend to participate in Atlantic Beach Bikefest, Myrtle Beach Military Appreciation Days or to take advantage of a three-day weekend at the beach.

Area police chiefs met with the Bikefest Task Force on Monday to begin to finalize logistical details for the officers arriving from other jurisdictions as well as discuss the overall safety plan for Memorial Day weekend.

Horry County will hold a centralized check-in at Coastal Carolina University’s HTC Center for a few hours on May 20 and 21 where officers will receive their assignment, meet with a local law enforcement representative and receive training.

The U.S. Department of Justice will be in Myrtle Beach in January to give its cultural professionalism and sensitivity training to Myrtle Beach officers and any other officers who want to attend.
“There are two or three courses that the DOJ offers that we’re hoping to do in a two-day session at a large venue to be determined,” Knipes said. “Once that’s [finalized], we’ll put an invitation out to all of the jurisdictions in South Carolina.”

Randy Webster, director of Horry County Emergency Management, said he hopes that the Justice Department will return in May to repeat the training for all the officers who will be patrolling during Memorial Day weekend.
“If they can’t come back, we’ll just have to do it in-house,” Webster said. Out-of-area officers on the Grand Strand Representatives from local law enforcement agencies sat down with state department heads – including SLED, Department of Public Safety and Department of Natural Resources – and some local elected officials in October, SLED Chief Mark Keel said.

“The local law enforcement agencies had been working on a plan for bike week and they came up with a total number of officers that were needed and we told them what we’d be able to send,” Keel said, saying he didn’t remember what that number was, but that it was “pretty significant.” “Once the officers get there, the local agencies determine where they go,” Keel said. “We always try to assign with a local officer who knows the beat.”

There were about 200 officers from outside jurisdictions -- including state police, state constables and officers from other parts of South Carolina -- in Myrtle Beach during Memorial Day weekend this year, Knipes said.

Myrtle Beach had about 200 sworn officers on the force at that time. Since then the force has been expanded to about 220 sworn positions.
“Until we get a finalized plan and idea of the tasks the officers will have to do, we won’t know how many officers we’re going to request,” Knipes said.
Next year will be the first time Surfside Beach will seek outside help.
“We will be requesting officers [next] year,” Surfside Beach police Chief Rodney Keziah said. “We saw more people in Surfside [this] year than before.”

There are 21 sworn officers on the Surfside Beach police force and town officials plan to ask for 10 to 20 outside officers to help next year.
Horry County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Jeff Benton said deputies typically assist Myrtle Beach on Memorial Day weekend, but next year their 75 sworn officers also will help the Horry
County Police Department.

Horry County police Chief Saundra Rhodes said the county will ask for fewer officers than anticipated from other jurisdictions helping them next May because of the additional help from the sheriff’s office.

Horry County police spokesman Lt. Raul Denis said its 255 sworn officers on the force worked about 1,400 hours in overtime in 116 additional shifts during Memorial Day weekend. He said that he did not know how many officers from outside jurisdictions helped the county police department last year.

Denis said that immediately after this year’s shootings, many local jurisdictions were looking to bring in a large amount of officers to town next year.
“We realize we’re probably not going to need that many people,” he said. “Chief Rhodes expects to have an additional 50 officers to supplement our forces at the upcoming rally, tentatively speaking of course.”

In North Myrtle Beach, officials plan to increase the number of officers from outside jurisdictions from 111 this year to 150 next year to help their 77 sworn officers on the force.
Most of the officers in the North Myrtle Beach area are state officers who focus on policing Atlantic Beach and managing traffic on U.S. Highway 17, North Myrtle Beach spokesman Pat Dowling said.

“We typically contact 70 to 80 police departments and a couple dozen sheriff’s departments statewide seeking help,” Dowling said. “Obviously we don’t get officers from every jurisdiction.”
Accommodating supporting officers

During Monday’s task force meeting, Webster urged each jurisdiction to come up with the final number of officers that will be traveling to the Grand Strand on Memorial Day weekend by the group’s next meeting in January.

When officials started meeting and throwing numbers around, Webster said he was concerned that there wouldn’t be enough available hotel rooms to lodge the officers who come to town and called on CCU to help.

Myrtle Beach Area Hospitality Association President and CEO Stephen Greene said the association has secured 320 room nights for the weekend and was working on getting additional rooms.

Keel said SLED was preparing to cover the cost of having his officers along the Grand Strand on Memorial Day weekend, which includes lodging, food and gas.
“The hope is that Myrtle Beach is covering some things and we’re covering others,” he said. “They’ve, in the past, helped with food some. ... But we’re prepared to cover our own expenses.”
North Myrtle Beach is arranging to lodge the officers that work with its jurisdiction, Dowling said.

“The state is picking up the tab for troopers and SLED officers,” he said. “The city pays for lodging and food of the other out-of-area officers.”
Webster said if needed, Coastal has agreed to let officers stay in its dorms, which would be empty because the school year ends earlier in May. Webster said CCU needs to be notified by Feb. 1 if officers will need to stay there.

“Hopefully we won’t need to use CCU,” Webster said. “The [Myrtle Beach Area] Chamber [of Commerce] and the [Myrtle Beach] Area Hospitality Association are working on securing the rooms. Hopefully they’ll have enough.”

Task force members will meet again to finalize details at 1 p.m. Jan. 21 at North Myrtle Beach City Hall, with the meetings becoming more frequent in the months leading up to Memorial Day.

Read more here: http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/2014/1 ... rylink=cpy

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 10:45 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 25, 2006 9:52 pm
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Location: Charleston, WV
Several trips trips the week before Memorial Day weekend. Usually fits in between Harley Week and Black Bike Week. Same reasons as you mentioned. Lower rates. Decent weather and no crowds or lines....Little if any problems. Most years we've been up NMB. One trip plus the one booked for next May in Surfside.
Some Harleys still in town that Saturday night but gone Sunday morning. The Black bikers start rolling into town around Thursday. No problems at all north or south of Myrtle. Not sure how it is along the main strip that week.
Stayed on Shore Drive in between MB and NMB one year. No behavior problems but we did see more of the crotch rockets mid week than farther north in Cherry Grove.
You should be on the road Saturday morning before the big festivities kick in. All else fails......Hate to say it or do it........Leave a day early.....


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 10:36 am 
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Location: Ohio
We usually try to plan our trips down the week before Memorial day. I've stayed in Myrtle at least once each week of May over the years and it seems that the first week is kind of a crap shoot for beach weather, the second week is usually Harley week but I would take Harley week over Atlantic Beach Fest any time, and the third week might catch the tail end of Harley week some times but is usually quiet and warm. I was in Myrtle for Memorial Day one time and would never ever consider doing it again.

You should also be able to score better rates going in May instead of June and it is certainly less crowded which we like. The only down side to May is that some attractions like Broadway At The Beach have not started their summer hours yet so they do close a little earlier than they do in June.

I wouldn't want to save all year for our family vacation then find myself feeling unsafe in a virtual police state. From what I'm reading it looks like law enforcement will be trying to make a much needed statement next year as they try to regain control of the festivities related to Memorial day weekend. I personally would avoid that weekend at all costs.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2014 2:48 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2007 6:33 pm
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Location: Chesapeake Ohio
We decided to wait and book for the first week of June! That way we are sure to have a good time :) On a side note, we decided to take off to Myrtle for the week yesterday since my husband is on vacation until after Christmas. Love the beach any time of the year! Unfortunately we hit a deer not long after crossing into South Carolina. Thankfully it didn't total our car, some damage to the driver door, fender and bumper. But it completely destroyed the headlight assembly. Anyone know where we might buy one reasonably priced? Insurance will cover the repairs when we get home but I'm not keen on driving with one headlight while we are here and all the way home to Ohio. We decided we weren't going to let it ruin our week though! Thanks everyone!


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2014 6:13 pm 
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Location: Myrtle Beach
You can try Hussey. They have a good local reputation. Tell them Wally Snider sent you!

http://www.husseymotors.com/

Here's a link with a map:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Husse ... 5cedf333ca

I'm so sorry to hear about this, Makes it especially bad when you're out of town and don't know anyone. Let us know how this works out.

I think you made the best decision about your vacation.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2014 9:41 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 9:35 pm
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Location: Surfside Beach, SC
I can second Patrish's suggestion of Hussey's. Two years ago while on vacation I hit a small wall at St. Clements and had some damage to the side of my car and problems with the steering. Patrish suggested Hussey's. I went and they took me in immediately and fixed the steering problem so I could drive back to New Jersey. They would have fixed the damage also but there was no time to order the parts I needed.
I have been using them since I moved down.


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