Vendors say bike week "no burnout" rule will burn business

MURRELLS INLET, SC (WMBF) - It may be months away, but many businesses are already getting ready for the spring rallies.

On Monday night, vendors found out what they can actually plan or can't plan to happen outside of biker bars.

One of the top announcements made by Horry County Assistant Administrator Paul Whitten at the meeting was that for the second year in a row, motorcycle burnouts (a popular activity where riders spin their tires) will not be permitted. Any business caught violating the rules risks losing its business license, losing its bike rally special event permit, and the owner is subject to arrest.

Horry County officials say burnouts violate DHEC regulations, plus they receive numerous complaints from those living nearby.

"We've also received a number of complaints from citizens who are, who live nearby some of the establishments that have had the burnouts and had numerous complaints about the air quality, the impact, the smell - the smell of burning rubber is not necessarily a wonderful smell," Whitten said.

The specially-called Public Safety meeting discussed all things Bike Week; it laid down the county's laws and expectations for how everything will go. This meeting was held for all the interested vendors looking to get special event permits for this year's spring rallies.

People in the area say they can see why the county is putting its foot down.

"I've been here 15 and a half years and I do hear the noises," said Bill Sullivan, who lives near the SBB Biker Bar. "But it doesn't bother me, but it bothers my wife. My wife is a very light sleeper, especially at 2:00 in the morning."

But local businesses say the county's "No Burnout" rule will really just scorch the bottom line. Bill Barber, Events Director for Suck Bang Blow, says burnouts are a top bike week attraction that rolls in the customers, and keeps the bars busy. Barber claims stopping burnouts may be easier on your ears, but it will certainly be harder on everyone's bottom line.

"We will feel it, the county will feel it financially, the state will feel it financially, everybody will feel it," said Barber.

After Monday's meeting, Barber said SBB will contact its attorney to figure out the next move.

"We'll look into the reasoning to why they don't want to have it because you know what they said tonight was pollution and that. But, we've proven it doesn't change the chemical compound of the rubber- it's just like shaving or sanding wood," Barber said.

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