Bike rally vendors complain about differences in permits

Murrells Inlet, SC (WMBF) - A little bit of rain wasn't enough to keep the thousands of bikers away from Murrells inlet today.  With the fall bike rally in full swing, nothing could change anyone's plans. 

"We just make the best of it and try to enjoy as much of it as we can," said Benny Hagy, visiting from Virginia.

Businesses are also taking the weather in stride.  Revenue was 20 percent higher this weekend than the last fall rally, so things are looking up.

"We've got a little bit of a sponge there, that we're not gonna lose too bad because of the rain," said Bill Barber, an organizer with SBB.  

There is one thing hurting some local vendors though, and like the rain, it's completely out of their hands.

Organizer Bill Barber says the problem is the rally is right at the border of Horry and Georgetown counties.  Both counties have very different ordinances, so vendors on each side of the border have very different rules.

"It does affect us, and it's all about numbers," said Barber.

In this part of Horry County, a temporary sales permit for a seven day event starts at nearly $800. Just a quarter mile away in Georgetown County, a 90-day temporary permit costs only $50. 

Vendors there can also start selling goods several days earlier. 

"A lot of the vendors that we've talked to and had in the past have moved to Georgetown County just a quarter mile down from here because it's so much cheaper and they get three extra days," said Barber. 

We spoke to both counties and the numbers show the difference.  Horry County has 8 fewer vendors with permits this year for the event and Georgetown County has ten more. 

"It could add up to be 30 percent that we've lost that we could have made if we would've been open the first weekend and our vendor prices are so high that it's running everybody off," said Barber

Horry County says the best explanation for the difference is simply, different counties have different ordinances.  All Horry County can do is enforce what has already been put in place.  

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