Scorching temps affect local businesses

Myrtle Beach, SC - By Alisha Laventure

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – While some businesses are thriving during these hot summer days, the heat is hurting others.

William Jones is one of several mom and pop shop owners situated along the walkway at Broadway at the Beach who says the heat is bad for business. He owns a booth where people can pick pearls from live oysters, but says he's gotten fewer customers as temperatures have climbed.

"Our sales have dropped," Jones said. "Our product dies when it's hot, so it's costing us."

Kristin Seymour works at the counter of Kohr's Family ice cream shop, which had few customers Tuesday afternoon. Seymour also attributes the lack of business to the heat.

"If it was less hot outside, there'd be a lot more people," Seymour said. "But since it's so hot, they just don't want to come outside."

Outdoor shop owners say people trickle in later in the afternoon, when temperatures are a cooler. During this heat indoor businesses have seen their customers grow.

Ripley's Attractions Marketing Assistant Jessica Mula said she saw almost 1,500 more visitors come to the aquarium Monday.

"It's been crazy busy with all this heat," Mula said. "They just need a place to come and cool off other than a mall or a shopping area, or they want to come off the beach because it's too hot to be on the beach."

Mula says the spike in visitors to the aquarium has pulled the administrative employees away from their desks in order to help tend to the crowds.

The IMAX movie theatre is another popular attraction where people are seeking refuge from the heat.

General Manager Steven Hunt says business has been strong because of it.

"We see some people with a little pink in the face […] looking for something cool to do," Hunt said.  "We provide a nice air-conditioned environment and get people out of the heat for a couple of hours, and people seem to be taking advantage of that in pretty good numbers."

Both Mula and Hunt said crowds tend to gather during the lunch hours when temperatures are at their highest. But it's during this time when outdoors shop owners say customers are nowhere to be seen.

However, shop owners like Jones remain hopeful despite dwindling customers. And as temperatures climb with the coming of summer Jones says they adjust.  He says that is all a shop owner can do when hot weather keeps customers away.

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