Myrtle Beach: We don't encourage BikeFest

Credit: The Sun News

Myrtle Beach Police investigate near two bodies located behind the sheets on a walkway in front of the Bermuda Sands Resort late Saturday.



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Posted on May 27, 2014 at 4:22 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 27 at 6:09 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Two cities are concerned about the recent violence that claimed the lives of three people over the Memorial Day weekend. But aside from having more police on duty, they are split on what they plan to do about it.

Seven people were wounded in shootings in Myrtle Beach and police report other calls of “shots fired” during the three day period. No arrests were made on any of the fatal shootings.
In an email to NBC Charlotte, the city spokesperson for Myrtle Beach reiterated that the BikeFest is not an event the city has any control of.
“The event is not the city's. The city does not sponsor, permit or encourage it.  A discussion will ensue, as you might expect, to address the challenges of such an impromptu, unmanaged event. Answers will come with time,” said Mark Kruea.
In 2008, Myrtle Beach voted to end bike rallies altogether. The city also created ordinances like bikers needing to wear helmets and dress codes for people who walk down city streets during the BikeFest. The state supreme court overthrew the helmet ordinance, but the rallies also continued. 
The reason was neighboring Myrtle Beach welcomes bikers to its annual BikeFest, a three day weekend event held less than a dozen miles from Myrtle Beach.
But since Atlantic Beach does not have enough hotel space, the vast majority of bikers and other visitors book hotels and spend most of their time in Myrtle Beach on the Grand Strand, where all three people died in two different shootings.
Atlantic Beach’s Mayor pro-tem said that she is saddened by the tragedies that unfolded over the weekend, but “the city will not make any changes.”
Charlene Taylor answered an emphatic “no” when asked if her city was considering canceling the BikeFest. 
“That’s a Myrtle problem,” she said. “We have enough police and nothing happened here,” she said.
For its part, Myrtle Beach city leaders said they will step up security for future events but short of that said they are helpless to stop the flocks of bikers who come to the area over this three week period.