MURRELLS INLET, SC (WMBF) - Businesses are preparing for the 76th annual Spring Bike Rally.
Some say last year's rally was one of the most successful bike rallies the area has had in years. but say what followed took them all by surprise.
"We were shocked because we didn't expect it, we didn't see it coming," Bill Barber remembers. The General Manager at SBB feels there is little to no difference between Bikefest and the Harley bike rally. He believes the Memorial Day Weekend crowds have given both biker events a bad rap.
"What goes on in Myrtle Beach, on Memorial Weekend, is not that safe, and I understand why people are afraid to come here, and it gives us a bad name because everybody thinks Murrells Inlet is Myrtle Beach, they think North Myrtle Beach is Myrtle Beach," Barber said.
Barber says this year will mark their 76th rally, and over the years, they've found success from honing in on one thing.
"Safety is number one in all of our eyes, whenever we do anything at SBB, it's always the public safety first, make sure everything's good and easy for everybody and everybody's safe," Barber explained.
Barber says they wouldn't be able to do it without the police.
"We need them because they really help keep everything in control. Get the traffic flowing good, and we really don't have any violent problems during bike week," Barber said.
Barber hopes the increase in police presence will help Bikefest and Memorial Day Weekend too.
"..Bump up the security and make everybody abide by the law, it's as simple as that, but hard to do because it does get crazy here," Barber explained.
Barber hopes both the Bike Rally and Bikefest will go smoothly this year, and bikers will no longer be tied to the violence that happened over Memorial Day Weekend.