Myrtle Beach police are laying out their Memorial Day Bikefest plans for area businesses months in advance at weekly meetings in February held at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, but the turnout has been minimal.
A group of about 10 people met last week, and this Friday numbers were even lower. City officials, however, said the low attendance is a good thing, as last year’s advance Bikefest meetings were packed with concerned business owners and representatives.
A small group of representatives from Ocean Boulevard hotels were among those present at the meeting, along with city officials and City Council members Wayne Gray and Mary Jeffcoat.
Officials said they still want to make improvements to this year’s festival, and they’re calling on local businesses and residents to spread the knowledge they’re disseminating about their operational plans.
Some of those plans include bringing back the 23-mile traffic loop; increasing officer visibility; police and multiple agencies and departments communicating and working together; and launching an interactive map to help visitors and residents get around.
Crosby said the map would soon be ready and posted on the police department’s website within the coming weeks.
As part of the new map service, police and their event ambassadors with be armed with pamphlets stamped with “Quick Response” reader codes.
The map service will also be used at the upcoming Myrtle Beach Marathon and other large-scale events, police said.
Violet “Heels” Lucas, liaison between the biker community and city officials and motorcycle rights activist, was also in attendance at Friday’s meeting and said she was there to gather information that she could relay back to bikers and organizers.
“If they [the motorcycle community] have all this information beforehand, collectively they can plan and make their visit successful,” Lucas said. “It’s just a collective effort. It actually took a long time coming, but to finally get to this point is definitely a great feeling that we are at the table together.”
She said the motorcycle community shares the same concerns as police and city officials and was glad the two groups started working together last year. While a lot of issues have been addressed, she would like to see the event develop a more vender friendly tone, but said she was happy with the positive steps that have been taken overall.
The meetings are held at 8:30 a.m. each Friday in February at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center at 2101 N. Oak Street Myrtle Beach, SC 29577 in Room 202.