Now that the Harley Bike Rally is over it is very apparent that area leaders need to get a plan together that will replace the loss of revenue and visitors. Whether it was the economy, the reduced number of vendors, the new laws or a combination of the three, the former month of May has been transformed, and in this new May there are many businesses who will have to reinvent themselves and who they serve if they plan to survive.
In the middle of the ongoing stories of vacant hotels and empty restaurants there was a beacon of hope that could be the first sign of the new May on the horizon. It was announced that Myrtle Beach will host the ACC baseball tournament for three consecutive years beginning in 2011. By the way, that tournament is held the week of Memorial Day and is expected to draw in excess of 50,000 guests to the Grand Strand. This is a big deal, and not just because it will help replace the lost dollars from the bike rallies, but also because Myrtle Beach landing this event proves that the plan to build the sports marketing category for this region has some legs.
It should be noted that North Johnson, GM of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, and the ownership group played a critical role in making this happen. Without that level of commitment from the Pelicans organization Myrtle Beach would not be the the future home of the ACC baseball tournament. Congratulations to everyone involved in landing this big fish. It could not have come at a better time.