Ocean Boulevard businesses already feeling impact of TS Arthur - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Ocean Boulevard businesses already feeling impact of Tropical Storm Arthur

"People get freaked out. You know bad weather's coming - they either leave town, they cancel, they don't come," explains Derek Hinger from Xtreme Airbrushing. (Source: WMBF News) "People get freaked out. You know bad weather's coming - they either leave town, they cancel, they don't come," explains Derek Hinger from Xtreme Airbrushing. (Source: WMBF News)

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF)- Local hotels and businesses on Ocean Boulevard are used to weathering through tough storms, but say the timing of Tropical Storm Arthur couldn't be much worse.

This is one of the busiest times of the year for Ocean Boulevard.  Tourists are expected to descend on the Grand Strand for the long holiday weekend, but now, there could be some changes to those plans. 

Tropical storm Arthur was named on Tuesday morning, and with that announcement came a pit in some businessowners' stomachs. They say locals still come out but, they rely on others for business.

"People that come on vacation...it's a bit of a different story," explains Derek Hinger from Xtreme Airbrushing. "People get freaked out. You know bad weather's coming - they either leave town, they cancel, they don't come. It affects everybody out here." 

Hotels on Ocean Boulevard have their phones ringing off the hook, but they may not be for reservations. The Island Vista Ocean Front Hotel says they haven't gotten too many cancellations, but they are seeing a spike in calls of concern.

"Every day we have our staff check the weather and that helps, because we get a lot of calls about it," says the Front Desk Manager, Trevor Finley. 

Finely says they get many questions asking about the timeline of the storm: when it will hit and how bad it will be, so it is very important his staff stays on top of weather updates. Shawn Greenlaw admits the weather is one of the first things he and his family look at when they vacation here. 

"Well we're in hurricane country, so every time we come here we look at the weather to make sure we are going to be safe," he says.

Business owners say the Boulevard is competitive enough without the rain, and you have to be strategic.

"You have to get down here, you have to work as hard as you can. If you're the only shop that's open, and the five others down the street aren't, it pays to be there on a rainy day," Hinger says.

It's hit or miss, Hinger adds, some people still come out in the rain and duck in and out of the shops, but others admit the opposite. They say they look to indoor activities and malls. 

Both business owners and hotels in the area say they have to stay optimistic and hope the rain does not cause people to cancel their plans to visit Myrtle Beach or the Boulevard. 

Read the latest on Tropical Storm Arthur from the WMBF First Alert Weather Team here.

Copyright 2014 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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