Tourism

Myrtle Beach parking strategy a turnoff for tourism

September 22, 2013 

I sent this email to the City of Myrtle Beach website after paying a parking ticket online I received last week while on vacation.

I just wanted to voice a complaint regarding the parking situation I encountered during my vacation to Myrtle Beach last week.

On Sunday, Sept. 9, my husband found out a friend and his wife were also visiting Myrtle Beach and they invited us to sit on the beach with them near their hotel, the Holiday Inn Pavilion. We parked in the lot under the SkyWheel, and I went to the machine to pay for parking. I assumed it was the same as all the other Public Parking spaces we had used previously down the strip -- $6 per day.

I was astounded to find out it was $6 per hour to park there. I could not believe it. I paid for three hours of parking for $18. When the three hours was up, I moved my car, and found a lot next door where some guys were sitting by a sign that said “Parking $5.” I pulled in and was notified it was $5 for an hour to park, $10 for four hours and for $20, I could park until 2 a.m.. I gave them $10 for an additional four hours.

We left the beach and were to meet our friends at Bandito's at 8 p.m. I found a metered parking space behind Ripley's. I looked at all the meters around us where other vehicles were parked, and all were expired. I thought that since it was past Labor Day, and a Sunday night, the meters weren't being enforced. I didn't have much change, but put in over $2 and was given just over an hour.

We got back to our car and found a parking ticket on our windshield. The interesting thing was the Mustang parked in front of me, which was there when I first parked (and their meter was also expired when I first parked), did not have ticket on the windshield! And yet mine did. I don't understand. On Sept. 9, it cost me $50 to park for approximately 7 hours in Myrtle Beach.

To say I am disappointed, shocked, and angry would be an understatement. My family owns a home just outside of Myrtle Beach, and we spend a lot of time in Myrtle Beach throughout the year. Does this incent me to return to the Boardwalk area to spend my money? Does it incent me to spend my money in Myrtle Beach at all? What do you think?

The writer lives in Thomasville, N.C.

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