Horry County issues vendor permits for Bike Week, only one section sells out

Horry County issues vendor permits for Bike Week, only one section sells out (Image 1)

It's just about that time of year again.  The annual Harley Rally on the Grand Strand returns May 13th.

Horry County prepares.

To date, the county's issued 51 vendor permits.

Myrtle Beach Speedway hopes to get in on the action this year, for the first time.

In a few weeks, the Myrtle Beach Speedway will go from catering to four wheels and left turns, to two wheels and hundreds of visitors.

Along with a team, Speedway General Manager, Howard Richardson hopes to attract more bikes to parts of the county not typically associated with the rally.

“Back in the 60s, 70s, and 80s, Bike Week used to be held here at Myrtle Beach Speedway.  We decided as a group to try to bring Myrtle Beach Bike Week back to Myrtle Beach Speedway,” said Richardson.

To do that, it's offering it's infield for vendors to set up shop during the spring rally.

“We welcome anyone who wants to be a vendor, we do have some spots opened,” remind Richardson.

The Myrtle Beach Speedway is in the Western Strand zone for the rally.

That area is allotted 100 vendor permits, but in Horry County's last count, had zero under its name.

More popular bike week locations bought their permits fast.

Here on the South End, the county has sold all 25 of its available vendor permits, at 800 bucks a pop.

The county has more than $40,000 off of permits already.  It goes into a general fund.

Lisa Bourcier said selling out on the South End is common.

“People still have time to get a permit, and the county is expecting pretty much the same amount of vendors as they had last year,” said Bourcier with Horry County.

That was 65.

Bourcier goes on to say, “We've played around with these districts.  Some of the complaints we had years ago were from the huge congestion we had on the South End.”

Richardson hopes to have a hand in relieving this year's traffic.

“We know that we're gonna have a good crowd, we expect a good crowd.”

In hopes of keeping bikers coming back for the entire summer.

To put thins in perspective, again, you had 65 vendor permits issued last year in Horry County.

Ten years ago, the county sold 464 permits.  That's an 86% percent drop.

Fewer vendors is one reason given for fewer bikers in recent years.

The vendor permits are good through Harley week which is May 13th through the 19th.

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