06/09/14 - MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A total of eight hotels were a part of the Coastal Uncorked tasting trolley event Saturday. The Myrtle Beach Area Hospitality association is new to head the event and hotels are checking in after the fact.
Hotel owners say the event came at the perfect time. This is the first time Coastal Uncorked has been the first week in June.
The island vista oceanfront hotel has been on board with coastal uncorked since the beginning. They've seen what's worked in the past and what hasn't. They say the return of the trolleys made a huge difference this year. and what really worked was that there was no set schedule.
"You could stay as long as you wanted to at whatever event you preferred and if you wanted to move on to the next one you could go outside and wait patiently for a trolley to pick you up and take you to the next venue," says Chapman.
Management at the Breakers Hotel also noticed a great mix.
"We saw a combination of things. We saw some people come through taste the items say thank you and move along and we some people who hunkered down got a table and spent the afternoon with us," explains Adam Townsend, General Manager of Breakers Resort.
Attendees say this couldn't have come at a better time considering the violence that took place the week before on memorial day weekend and it makes people want to come here
"The reputation will be better after this. it shows people you can come here be in a controlled environment and not get crazy," says Bonnie Hacksworth. Hacksworth is visiting the area and purchased tickets as soon as she found out about the tasting trolleys.
There are many hotels on ocean boulevard. Many that advertise ocean front views and convenience. Hotels involved in the event say they are happy to stick out. They hope the event leads people in one direction.
"So it was a great way for them to be exposed to our resort and they ended up booking a week long stay with us because of the event," says Chapman.
The Myrtle Beach Area Hospitality Association is making Coastal Uncorked a year-round event and hotels plan to be a part of them.
"This particular event was great for the property and I'm sure we'd love to support them however we can moving forward," says Townsend.
Hotels are still waiting for the exact number of ticket sales from the myrtle beach area hospitality association but say they are excited to see how the association plans to expand. The next event under the Coastal Uncorked umbrella will be the farm-to-table event.