Weak start, but strong finish for Ocean Blvd businesses - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Weak start, but strong finish for Ocean Blvd businesses

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The summer is the biggest money maker for most businesses throughout the Grand Strand. People are drawn to the Carolina coast for the hot sun and sand, but businesses owners along Ocean Boulevard tell WMBF news the weather played a big role this summer when it came to sales. 
The souvenir shop, Outlet $9.99, opened its doors this season. The employees said it's been an okay year so far, but they're hoping word of mouth can get folks to make a return trip next year. 

"I think people will tell other people it was really nice this year - there were more stores open and better prices," explained Barbara Wilson, an employee at the shop.

For long-time Ocean Boulevard businesses, like Peaches Corner, which has been a staple in the community since 1937, this year did have its challenges. 

Ryan Cooper is the manager at Peaches Corner.  He said the season was pretty good overall, adding,
"The beginning started slow due to the weather and rain we had, but after it started warming up. We really started to see people come out." 

Cooper said they tried something new this summer with adding breakfast items on the menu, and it's something they'll do again. 

A wetter June is taking the blame for many owners into the slower start of the season. 

Chris Walker is the President Oceanfront Merchant Association. He said it has been an up and down season.

"For the most part when it was sunny everybody did great," Walker said. "When it rained everyone didn't do well."

Many visitors are using the new flight options through Myrtle Beach International Airport. In fact, according to the website for MYR, from this time last year, visitors are up anywhere from 18,000 to 20,000 people.

Chris Walker thinks having discounted flights is part of Myrtle Beach's draw.

"The cheaper and more flights we can get, the better off all of us are," he said.

Many business owners and managers also said they would like to see something developed on the pavilion space to help bring more interest into that section of town. 

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