Tourists in town over Bikefest weigh in on Myrtle Beach’s 'famil - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Tourists in town over Bikefest weigh in on Myrtle Beach’s 'family-friendly' reputation

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - As Bikefest wound down Monday, visitors in town were able to enjoy Memorial Day in Myrtle Beach without the huge crowds and extra measures put in place over the weekend. WMBF News reporter Mandy Noell looked into whether tourists in town still think Myrtle Beach lives up to its title of “family friendly” vacation destination.

Some people who were in town for Bikefest, but not for the rally, knew there was a bike event, but most said they weren't prepared for all the bikers, police and barricades. While many said they were shocked, most say the weekend didn't taint their overall opinions of Myrtle Beach as a family destination.

"I did talk to a couple people, and they were kind of like shocked,” said Dennis Faiola, who was in town over the weekend, but not for Bikefest. “I think they were like me, didn't know it was going to be this extent on bike week."

People said Bikefest is not appropriate for their kids, but they know it's out of their control. Faiola comes to Myrtle Beach every year to spend his vacation dollars, and this was his first experience here during Bikefest. "It was a little scary, okay, with all the bikers here," he said. "I mean, I'm sure they're good people, but I didn't feel safe at times going out at night with a large group."

Tourists did approve of the strict police presence, even though it was hard to get around. Those in town for Bikefest say they appreciated it - it was safer this year with more eyes watching to keep order.

"I think I would like to know that it was going to be such a big deal here,” Faiola commented. “And that really on that side of the street, you couldn't get into anything. If you wanted to eat dinner or do anything of that nature. So we had to stick by the ocean."

People in town for the rally, Faiola, and others said Bikefest isn't fit for families. It may stop them from coming back Memorial Day weekend, but it doesn't mean they'll never be back.

“I'd definitely bring the kids back to Myrtle Beach,” Faiola said. “Okay, but not during Bike Week, just because of safety reasons...doesn't seem like a family-oriented time."

Copyright 2015 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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