MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - From the line of cars up and down Ocean Boulevard, it’s beginning to look a lot like spring on the Grand Strand.
“We’re feeling like it’s starting to come back, it’s starting to build, our expectation is, as we hit Easter weekend which is 2 weeks away, we’ll be in full spring mode,” said Karen Riordan, CEO of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce.
She said with the influx this week, despite the cooler temperatures, many businesses told her they’ve had their best week since the fall.
Riordan said they’re still waiting on this week’s hotel occupancy numbers.
She added the latest data collected shows hotels and rentals already saw 29% more visitors checked in last week than the week previous, showing a growing trend.
Riordan said on top of that, hotels are making money off of each room booked.
“Our rate is holding, and in some cases, it’s starting to rise because the demand is strong,” she said.
Many colleges and universities are ditching traditional spring breaks to try to avoid students traveling and possibly spreading COVID-19 when they return.
Riordan says she doesn’t expect this to have a huge impact on travel to Myrtle Beach.
For travelers like Laney Russomano, she says she and her friends are happy they made the trip from New Jersey.
“Our college didn’t give us a spring break this year but we decided to just up and go. I’m vaccinated so I was fine with it,” she said.
Kyla Russo says it’s her first time visiting the Grand Strand, but hope’s it’s not her last.
“I think it’s becoming more normal to travel again,” she said.
Riordan added weekend travel is still stronger than weekday travel, but this week’s Run to the Sun Car Show also brought many other people to the area.