Beach tent users make way to Surfside Beach

SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - With more than 14 million people visiting Myrtle Beach every year, it may be difficult to get the word out about the beach tent bans up and down the coast.

The Grand Strand stretches more than 60 miles along the coast and Surfside beach is the only beach that's still giving the thumbs up to beach tents.

When tent users hear about this new law, most say they're pitching their shade somewhere else.

"I love all of Myrtle Beach but I will select Surfside because I can have my tent here," says Sally Whitllow, Myrtle Beach resident.

Surfside Beach is traditionally the no fuss laid back family beach.

Mayor pro tem Mary Beth Mabry says people who typically use tents are families with children and grandparents who don't just want but need the shade.

"In years past our family has always come to Myrtle Beach and with this tent ban, obviously I got this son, sleeping inside of a tent, I couldn't have him up there," says Greenville, South Carolina resident Greg Stewert. "I'm really white for a reason. I like to protect myself from the sun by sitting underneath the tent and we can't do it, so we probably won't go to Myrtle Beach as long as that ban is in place."

A lifeguard who has worked along the Myrtle Beach shore for the last three years says most people understand the necessity for the tent ban and most oblige with it, but that doesn't mean they are coming back for another trip.

"This season we have seen a decrease, it's just starting out so it's hard to tell. But I do believe the tent rule has affected that just slightly," says Myrtle Beach lifeguard Michael Patterson. "Most people came here their whole lives, they grew up coming to Myrtle and now they can't bring their personal equipment out here."

In Myrtle Beach there are plenty of signs that look just like this one reminding you the new ban will last now until labor day.

If you do choose to visit the Myrtle Beach shore line you are welcome to bring traditional circular umbrellas as long as they have a width of 7 feet, 6 inches or less.

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