Letters to the Editor

Bike rallies exceeded week's welcome

In Dave Carlson's Monday letter ("Turning away bikers prejudicial," April 5), his fifth sentence, being grossly incorrect, ruined the basis for his entire argument.

He began that sentence with "One small week out of 52," and from there, he lost me. That's just the problem; bike rallies weren't "one small week" anymore. With local bars and businesses competing for their dollar scheduling events the weekend before or the weekend after, the Harley rally "season" was much more than "one small week." It had grown, and was continuing to grow, into almost half the month of May.

Rally organizers, bike supporters, the city of Myrtle Beach and the area chamber of commerce are all at fault for where we are today. To blame "just" the city, or "just" the chamber would be myopic. Nobody seemed to want to sit down - as a unified group - to map out an itinerary for Bike "Week." So Bike "Week" became bike week and two half-weeks; couple that with the Memorial Day Bikefest activities, and you have nearly half the month of May taken up.

I still believe if the city, the Harley organizers and the chamber were to work together to make Bike Week a weeklong organized event, most locals would be happy; I also believe if the Bikefest organizers were encouraged by local government to reschedule their events (say, to a weekend from mid-July to early August), most locals would be happy.

Memorial Day weekend should be one of this market's busiest weekends, and it hasn't been for many years. Whether vacationing families avoid the Grand Strand because of bias or fear or stereotype, they're avoiding the Grand Strand, and we should work to alleviate that and make Myrtle Beach a Memorial Day weekend destination that packs hotels. Moving Bikefest would do that.

The writer lives in Myrtle Beach.

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