More rental golf carts headed to Ocean Boulevard ahead of tourism season

Myrtle Beach’s strict rental limit means many businesses are offering fewer mopeds, more golf carts
Published: Mar. 10, 2022 at 11:12 PM EST
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Ocean Boulevard in Myrtle Beach will see a few more golf carts this year.

We’ll see 64 additional golf carts this summer. The city approved those permits this week; however, we will also see 64 fewer mopeds.

Many rental businesses are trying to expand while working under a strict rental limit imposed by the city.

Businesses have a limit on how many rental vehicles they can have, but not a limit on what type they can have, so the city is seeing a trend away from mopeds, lowriders, and trikes and businesses putting more of their fleets toward golf carts.

Managers like the one at USA Beachwear, feel the fewer of those smaller vehicles we see by the beach, the safer it’ll be during the busy season.

“We do a lot of rentals, we rent out every day, sometimes two or three times a day,” said James Kyriakos, the manager of USA Beachwear.

Kyriakos says they’re just a few weeks away from those days of folks constantly coming in to check out one of their 20 golf carts.

One thing people won’t be checking out from USA Beachwear is mopeds.

“We decided to take them off our property, people tend, in Myrtle Beach, it is a party area, so when they get on two wheels, it tends to be very dangerous, and we don’t want to be held liable,” Kyriakos said. “So we don’t want to provide our consumers with anything that can get them hurt while they’re on vacation.”

Myrtle Beach leaders set up a franchise system about five years ago to set a hard cap on rental golf carts and mopeds at 871.

“The number was becoming untenable,” said Fox Simons, the City Manager. “They were increasing exponentially. It was straining our resources at the police department so we had to get our arms around it.”

Between the liability factor and the limit on rentals, Myrtle Beach has seen more and more companies gradually swapping their moped, trikes and low-boy permits for golf cart permits to fill out their fleets.

From a public safety standpoint, that’s a trend City Manager Fox Simons wouldn’t mind seeing continue.

Because by state law, golf carts can’t be driven anywhere with speed limits higher than 35 miler per hour or at night - laws that don’t apply to mopeds.

“That helps control, from our perspective, the proliferation of the units - where they’re at,” Simons said.

The transition is no skin off Kyriakos’ nose because he has no problem renting out golf carts when the weather warms up.

“People really enjoy it, and I don’t believe it’s as dangerous as moped rentals in Myrtle Beach,” said Kyriakos.

One rental business applied to add more to their fleet this year and push above that 871 limit.

The city council denied the request, so that’ll be the number this year and they can reconsider raising it if need be next year.

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