Hotels that have either rented or provided beach chairs and umbrellas to guests for free no longer are able to.
Representatives from the city’s Beach Advisory Committee and water safety franchise vendors told Myrtle Beach City Council that at least one oceanfront hotel rented or provided free beach chairs and/or umbrellas to their guests.
In an ordinance passed last week, franchisees were granted exclusive rights to provide umbrellas and chairs to beachgoers in Myrtle Beach. There are four beach safety franchisees in the city, spokesman Mark Kruea said.
Kruea said franchisees rent the beach chairs and umbrellas in return for providing beach safety services.
According to the ordinance, it is illegal for any oceanfront business license holder to provide umbrellas and/or chairs to be used on the beach. If a business violates the law, that business would be in jeopardy of having its business license suspended or revoked.
Before passing the ordinance, there was no specific law stopping businesses from providing chairs and umbrellas.
“It’s a creative business idea, but it threatens the continued success of the beach [franchisees] and the lifeguard services provide,” Kruea said.
He said he did not know which hotel was providing the chairs and umbrellas to its guests.