Bigger crowds spending fewer dollars on the beach

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Big crowds are hitting the Grand Strand now that the summer season is underway, but shop keepers say these groups aren't spending like they used to.

"They money ain't what it used to be," said beachwear shopkeeper Max Devane. "People may come in, but they're just looking. They don't want to buy nothing."

Devane and other retailers along Ocean Boulevard say customers will browse their shops, but rarely buy.

On the beach, visitors say they're looking for an overall frugal vacation experience.

"We do cook all the dinners together," says Grand Strand visitor Ciara McKay. "It works out a lot cheaper if we all chip in."

While spending seems to be down among oceanfront shops, visitors say they do want to visit attractions or go shopping. But they're hunting for bargains or shopping the sale.

"We initially did want to buy some things for the summer," said Neasa Shiel. "Heard sales are going on, that's when we got up and went to the mall."

Some shopkeepers say the biggest challenge to their businesses are the high prices of nearby attractions. If the prices were lower, they say, more people would be willing to spread their spending money around.

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