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Should we try to stop the boycott of Bikefest or let the protestors go? | Point/Counterpoint

jlee@thesunnews

Ah Bikefest — the gift that keeps on giving.

In 2015, Horry County and Myrtle Beach officials created a 23-mile traffic loop to help keep traffic moving along Ocean Boulevard and prevent the gathering of people on the street. As it turns out, visitors — most of them unsuspecting — came to Myrtle Beach to find out their oceanfront hotel was caged away from the rest of Myrtle Beach.

As 2016 came, more people from out of the country were seen on Ocean Boulevard, quite possibly not knowing what local organizers have done to one of America’s top family beaches on the kick off of summer.

Recently, attendees have announced they plan to boycott Myrtle Beach and “not spend a dime here.” So, we had to ask: Should we try to stop the boycott of Bikefest or let the protestors go?

Please stay

So, I was walking down the road with an open container of beer in my hand when I heard a group of men roaring like their favorite team just scored a winning run. I look over and I saw a rather beautiful pair of boobs being exposed to that crowd of men. No, it wasn’t Bikefest, it was Harley week. Ya, white bike week.

See, this stuff happens whether you’re black or white. Myrtle “Bleach” needs all the visitors it can get, excluding any who break laws. Caging visitors and dowsing the enjoyment of locals will send the locals elsewhere (most already leave), the unsuspecting visitors leaving and never coming back, and those planning to come here eventually changing their plans to somewhere else.

Please, don’t let the decision of a few white collar officials chase you away from a beach that has been fun for millions throughout the years. Two years of cages and weekend-long loops will eventually ease.

Letting our Memorial Day tourists will hurt our economy worse than what has already been done to unsuspecting tourists whose (sometimes) first impression of Myrtle Beach is a 45-minute drive from Kings Highway to Ocean Boulevard on a holiday weekend afternoon. Know that we’re serious about obeying the law and you’ll have yourself a great weekend.

Go ahead and leave

This is a GREAT thing, are you kidding me? Bye Felicia!

Now let me start by stating the obvious, this has ZERO to do with race. This is not about a group, it’s about individuals who make bad choices, and ruin everything for everyone.

Now, we’ve got that out of the way.

Why, OH WHY, could this possibly be a good thing for thousands and thousands and thousands (and thousands) of people to flock from our city? Read on.

First of all, the BikeFest attendees want to “bankrupt” Myrtle Beach, a city that’s average annual tourism population is somewhere in the neighborhood of *17 million visitors per year.

How will they do this you ask? By not coming here. Oh it gets better.

BikeFest usually brings in roughly 200,000 people over the course of Memorial day weekend. So if you’re keeping track, tourism is now down from 17 million to 16,800,000. I think we’re gonna be OK.

In addition, the cleanup alone after one weekend during BikeFest has been just over a quarter of a million dollars, on average, for the past two years. In addition to that figure, in 2014 and 2015, various businesses in Myrtle Beach (including the city itself) have faced lawsuits for an annual total of roughly $3 million to $4 million PER SUIT.

So, to conclude.

The city of Myrtle Beach pays annually somewhere in the neighborhood of $5 million for a couple hundred thousand bikers to come down and back up traffic, shootings and murders have skyrocketed in the past few years, and that’s not factoring in the trashed hotel rooms and increased police presence that’s NECESSARY. I’m sorry, but it is, and they’re going to bankrupt Myrtle Beach by making us not pay that.

Can we please get Taylor Swift to write us a breakup song? Because we... are never ever ever, getting back together.

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