MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce is kicking off a campaign to try and get more visitors to enjoy the Grand Strand through the shoulder season. The campaign is called 60 More Days of Summer.
The promotion is designed to highlight the area's 60 miles of coastline and 60 best ways to relax and unwind over the next 60 days in the Myrtle Beach area, according to Susan Phillips, Director of Marketing at MBACC.
Chamber members say it is a misconception that the entire Grand Strand just shuts down after Labor Day. Phillips says this campaign will help encourage tourism and boost the economy during the shoulder season, which includes the months of September and October.
The 60 More Days of Summer campaign will announce a new deal or suggested activity each day. It is all designed to help you relax and unwind. The promotion includes some steep discounts, deals, and gift cards for local restaurants, businesses, hotels, and attractions.
The goal is to attract more tourists to town to boost the economy. But it is also a good opportunity for locals to enjoy the city's attractions when things are a bit less hectic.
"A lot of the visitors think that we close shop at the end of the summer," says Phillips. "But we don't. The weather is just beautiful, there's a lot of activities, prices are lower, and there's more elbow room on the beach."
Chamber leaders say only 200 of Myrtle Beach's more than 1,700 restaurants close for the season after summer is over. The general manager of the Hampton Inn & Suites Oceanfront, Tom Moore, says the shoulder season is becoming very popular, so not all business owners feel the need to close anymore.
"Every year gets a little better," says Moore. "We have peaks and valleys. There are some good times and bad times. But I think everybody concerned, the other businesses and restaurants, they all see the shoulder season is getting a little better."
Moore says this year has proven to be pretty strong for the hotel, just like last year. The only difference this year is that the three weeks after Labor Day are basically all booked. According to Moore, you won't be able to find a room for a week-long stay until October. But the hotel does still have some availability for two or three-night stays.
The marketing specialist for the Sky Wheel and the manager for dozens of vacation rentals in Myrtle Beach also agree that the great weather through the months of September and October plus the steeper discounts are hidden gems that tourists are finally catching on to.