MURRELLS INLET, S.C. (WMBF) - People at this year’s spring bike rally in Murrells Inlet have noticed a smaller attendance on the first day of the event.
Vendors and bikers agreed there weren’t as many people on Monday as in years past.
With the rest of the week and weekend to go, there’s still plenty of time for visitors to show up, but when comparing Monday’s crowd sizes to the crowd sizes of Mondays in previous years, people at the event have noticed a decline.
The rally was supposed to take place earlier this year but was rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It appears more people showed up during the week it was cancelled than the make-up week.
“Definitely not as many people as I’m used to seeing down here,” biker Brandon Joswick said. “Last year was a lot more people.”
Joswick is visiting from Rhode Island. The lack of attendees has been noticeable to him.
“I got down here on Saturday, and I didn’t see any trailers coming up or anything, so we’ll see how it turns out after today,” he said.
The small crowd sizes are affecting vendors.
Vendors said they have noticed a big decline in bikers as well, which hurts them financially.
“I’m paying my bills but kind of by the skin of my teeth,” vendor Gia Lane said.
Lane has been financially impacted by the coronavirus because nearly every event this year she was supposed to attend has been cancelled.
She said she almost didn’t come to Murrells Inlet because of all the unknown factors, and she wasn’t sure it’d be worth it.
The two main risks she had to consider were COVID-19 and the potential for small crowds, which means less business. Lane also had to consider the money she had to spend to buy a space at the event, as well as the cost to pay her employees and travel expenses.
“There are some risks involved, so you kind of just have to hope for the best and prepare for the worst,” she said.
The bike rally continues through Sunday.