Bikers could cruise Grand Strand longer in 2012

GARDEN CITY, SC (WMBF) There's a chance bikers could be cruising the Grand Strand longer during the spring pilgrimage this year, and some businesses say they think that's a recipe for problems.

Myrtle Beach Harley Davidson is proposing a three-week spring bike rally – an event that usually runs just over a week on the Grand Strand each year.

Doyce Heinzmann, of Spokes and Bones Saloon, says he's one of the rally's biggest cheerleaders and supports the event. He just doesn't know if he can take three weeks of it.

"I only want to participate for 10 days because I need a rest," he said. "It's a really dumb thing for Harley Davidson to try to change or extend the dates posted for the last two years on all the national websites."

That date change has bikers confused as well, and Ryan Swaim of Dunes Realty in Garden City is seeing that confusion first hand. He say he's getting more and more calls from bikers asking if they made reservations for condos and beach homes for the wrong week.

"Our guests are calling us asking us when this rally is going to be," Swaim said.

He says extending the rallies won't make a drastic change to how much profit will be going into his pocket. At most, he says bikers usually just reserve and extra night or two if their rentals aren't already reserved.

While some patrons at Garden City Beach Bar and Grill say an economic boost is what the bike rallies are all about, others like Su Sides says she doesn't think the idea will settle well for locals – especially on the South Strand.

"They don't leave their homes as it is because there's too much congestion [and] too much traffic," she said.

Despite Myrtle Beach Harley Davidson hoping to extend their festivities, Horry County maintains it will only issue vendor permits May 14-20.

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