In a follow-up investigation to our February report The Grand Strip, which focused on the numerous strip clubs along US-501 and US-17, we reveal that you can get a lot more for your money than many people are probably aware. There's a big difference between topless dancing and prostitution.
Consider This: If you're like me, when I travel and see an area for the first time there are two things that really stand out; locations that are extremely well-planned and visually appealing and then the opposite extreme, areas that are blighted, neglected and run-down. But what happens after you've lived somewhere for a while and become accustomed to your surroundings? It seems most people become immune to the negative aspects of the area and it begins to just blend into the background. I believe that is what happens to local residents in our area. At first there is a little surprise at the numerous strip clubs and adult video stores, especially with their prominent locations. And then over time the locals begin to notice them less and less and they just say, they've been here forever, I guess that's just the way it is.
Well the millions of visitors we welcome to the Grand Strand each year fall into the category where you notice everything. And guess what greets them? Strip clubs and XXX video stores. What better way to say, "Welcome families, we're glad you chose our area to vacation."
I find it hard to believe that chamber leaders have not made this a top priority, especially with the push to attract more families to the area. Why not work with county leaders to rezone the areas and work with the businesses to relocate to less prominent locations?
There's a reason local leaders have not done anything to address this and we still haven't uncovered the real reason. Although you'd think rampant prostitution would do it, I guess not. So we'll keep digging. I've got a feeling if we just follow the money we'll figure this out. We'll try that angle as we begin working on our next report, and hopefully one day we'll have a nice entrance to welcome our valuable family visitors to the Grand Strand and not the Grand Strip.