Large holiday, biker crowds surprise Grand Strand tourists

Tourists surprised by size of bike fest

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Memorial Day Weekend officially kicks off the busy summer season on the Grand Strand as thousands of tourists and bikers head to the beach.

Even if you live here year round it can be overwhelming dealing with the crowds, more so if you are from out of town and did not know about Atlantic Beach Bike Fest.

"It was a lot there was a lot of people very tough driving," said Charles Gross.

He booked his trip months ago and did not find about Bike Fest until two weeks ago.

"Typed in Myrtle Beach, Memorial Day in Google and that's what came up," Gross added.

Even those visitors who came to the Grand Strand just to experience the weekend at Bike Fest said they could not believe the crowds.

"It was tremendously exemplified," said Jeremy Reid from Georgia.  "It was so many bikes I've never seen so many bikes in my life."

The crowds are also impacted more than just tourists, the Coastal Classic AAU volleyball tournament took place this Memorial Day Weekend at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. But next year, the tournament will be a week later in the summer to make it easier for families and players to avoid bikers and the holiday crowds.

The group was prepared for the crowds this year though.  On the website for Coastal Classic Volleyball Championships they funneled the important information for competitors and their families.

The group offered advice on areas to frequent, areas to avoid, and the best routes in and out of town to avoid the crowds, congestion, and "objectionable behavior."

"There's so much traffic this weekend," said Alex Sing who helps put on the tournament. "There's so many other things going on and it's a holiday weekend which is nice but we figure with all the other variables that it's better to move it to that weekend."

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