Local promoter turning Bikefest traffic loop to his advantage

Local promoter turning Bikefest traffic loop to his advantage

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A Bikefest event promoter said the traffic loop put a huge dent in his pockets, but he believed this year will be different.

His hope is an event location away from the loop will be to his advantage.

"My numbers had increased, except for last year," said the event coordinator for Bike Week Expo, identified as Alex A. "There was a decrease simply because of the traffic loop."

Alex said he hear about traffic loop frustrations from many people following the 2015 Memorial Day weekend.

"I got a lot of phone calls," he said. "I answered every one of them. The biggest concern was that they asked me was, 'Why was the traffic loop in place?"

Alex also heard concerns about why there is no traffic loop during Harley Bike Week.

"We bring in, and when I say we, I mean Memorial Day Bike Week, we bring in at least 250,000 to 300,000 bikers," he said. "They are all in Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach. All the Harley riders are down in one area, that's Murrells Inlet. There is no need for a traffic loop."

Alex added that he doesn't care about the traffic loop. The reality is, he said, is it is not leaving, so he doesn't want to focus on why it's there.

"I noticed a lot of people like to come to Hooters and sit in the parking lot and socialize, meet and greet," he said. "So I decided to put on a music showcase. I've added one of the biggest vendors in the U.S., which is Slingshot. They're coming out along with other local vendors."

The Hooters restaurant location is next door to Myrtle Beach Mall on the U.S. 17 Bypass, a portion of the highway that will not be closed due to the traffic loop. Alex said he wants bikers to avoid the traffic congestion and patronize his event.

He also doing just what he did in 2015, which is helping law enforcement spread the word about the traffic loop. It's information that is good for both those on motorcycles and those in cars.

"I encourage you to go look at that loop and get familiar with it, even if you have to get up early in the morning and drive it so you will know the ins and outs," Alex said.

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