MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Myrtle Beach leaders promote the 60 miles of shore as family-friendly; while many national publications recognize the beach as one of the best, another claims it is one of the "trashiest" spring break destinations.
City leaders make it clear they want nothing to do with the designation of being a trashy spring break destination for college students looking to party. And, despite an unwanted ranking on one website, they do not believe families get that impression.
Nonetheless, coed.com ranks Myrtle Beach as the third trashiest spring break destination, based on, it says, a variety of distinctions; from the number of strip clubs to cheap room rates and air fare.
The beach is also currently in first place on a USA Today poll of best spring break destinations - which encompasses college spring breakers and families. City leaders say they don't believe the image of the beach is tarnished, but rather a reflection of how popular the area is.
"We don't think that the publicity right now is harmful," says Brad Dean, President of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce. "But it's certainly not something we're not trying to go out and secure, as a college spring break destination."
Locals say certain areas of Myrtle Beach have issues like any other city in America, and for parents there are plenty of family-friendly activities year-round. Many visitors out and about don't even know it is spring break for college students.
"We haven't seen any kind of spring break activity," says Maria Elena Gonzalez, who is visiting the area. "No partying, no wildness at all… I have seen more older people, who probably appreciate quietness. And middle-aged people, like ourselves."
City leaders say while they aren't trying to actively market to college students on spring break, for those who do come to Myrtle Beach, they hope the students have a good time, obey the laws and behave.