Surfside Beach may lift ban on bike week vendors

Surfside Beach, SC - By Laura Thomas - bio | email

SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – A ban on bike week vendors may soon be lifted in Surfside Beach when it expires next week.

Surfside Beach Mayor Allen Deaton said because of the decrease in attendance at bike rallies over the past two years, the town council probably won't address the issue next week. Should that happen, Deaton says the ban will automatically be lifted.

Jamie Keats with Jamin' Leather in Surfside said he has had vendors in the past, but is hopeful that the ban will end and he can host vendors once again.

"The moratorium for Surfside should never have existed," said Keats. "It has personally affected me, but really, I'm glad they are reconsidering it. It'd be nice, even though I don't do a lot of vending. It would be nice to have a little bit of extra income during a peak time of the year that it is for us"

In 2008, Surfside Beach officials passed a two-year moratorium on vendors, after town leaders decided the rallies were noisy and caused traffic congestion in the town.

Deaton said the ban is in place until new town council members can be seated. The two council members will join council on May 11.

Biker James Gurley has been to Bike Week for many years and said that where the vendors are, the bikers will follow - and they'll bring their wallets.

"I think if you're [going to] have the event, you need to have vendors to go along with the event," said Gurley. "As long as the bikers are coming, they're [going to] spend some money regardless of what it's on."

Keats hopes that if the ban is lifted, it will mean revved up revenue at his store.

"I don't necessarily anticipate a big carnival in my parking lot," said Keats. "I would like the opportunity to have more people here and have a nice display, and have a reason for people to come and spend a little money."

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