My extended family has enjoyed vacationing in Myrtle Beach for many, many years. However, the decision on the part of Myrtle Beach officials to ban the use of tents on the beach certainly impacted our enjoyment during vacations this past summer.
A tent, in the past, provided a common area to gather for reading, snacks, conversation, and observation of the beauty around us. This year, we had four umbrellas all in a row — seemingly, to us, less efficient and just as difficult to maneuver around in terms of emergency vehicles as tents would have been.
It seems to me that you could have guidelines concerning the use of tents (placement, time of use, etc.), and then enforce them. The requirement that tents be placed behind the lifeguard line and be taken down by a certain time in the afternoon seems more than reasonable.
We heard a number of tourists indicate that they would be looking for alternative locations this coming summer, as will my family. I hope elected officials in the Myrtle Beach area will re-visit the decision to ban tents and reverse or modify what was, in my opinion, an unwise decision both for tourists and for the economy of your area.
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The writer lives in Roxboro, N.C.