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‘People are coming in doing these day trips’: Myrtle Beach sees jump in parking meter revenue

Updated: Jun. 7, 2021 at 7:39 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - With the city of Myrtle Beach fully reopened, more people are getting out to enjoy the Grand Strand.

From hotel occupancy to parking meter revenue, numbers are up across the board.

It could be people parking to hit the beach or enjoy the city’s many attractions. Regardless, people are visiting the area.

For the month of May, the city brought in $320,000 in parking meter fee collections.

Brian Schmitt, the Executive Assistant of the city’s Downtown Development office, said they usually don’t see that amount until June.

The meter revenue in May of 2019 was $236,000. In May of 2018, it was $186,000.

Schmitt said last year they took a huge hit during the temporary shutdowns of public beach accesses and businesses.

Once beaches reopened, they saw a lot of parking meter activity near residential areas.

“So we really didn’t take a huge loss from that side,” Schmitt said. “We took a huge loss from everywhere else in the city cause all the shops were closed and reduced capacity.”

Now the beaches are packed and Ocean Boulevard is bustling with tourists.

Schmitt couldn’t say if the increase in parking meter revenue means a boom in business for hotels or attractions.

However, he said a return to normalcy plays a factor, as well as the “absolutely perfect” weather last month.

“To me, that means there are probably more people spending shorter trips so a lot of people are coming in doing these day trips seeing everything that’s open or they missed their vacation last year,” Schmitt said.

Schmitt said they’re looking forward to seeing the parking revenue for June. He said the way things are looking, this June could be a record-breaking month for parking meter revenue.

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