Myrtle Beach parking fees could go up to $3 per hour in downtown
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Finding a parking spot on a sunny summer day in Myrtle Beach may soon only be half the battle.
Myrtle Beach city council is considering raising the cost of meters and city-owned parking lots.
”I think here it’s more expensive,” said Adriana Rosales, who is visiting from Virginia.
It’s summertime, which means the sight of tourists like Liz Cerritos and Adriana Rosales trying to figure out how much they’ll need to pay for a day at the beach has become a common one.
They’re used to paying for parking back home in Richmond, Virginia, but they were surprised to see how expensive Myrtle Beach is.
“For me, I mean we’re used to not paying this much,” said Rosales.
They may have to budget a little more if they plan on coming back to Myrtle Beach because parking rates could be heading even higher.
Right now, Myrtle Beach has three tiers:
Oceanfront, which is $2.00 an hour
Downtown, which is $1.75.
And the rest of the city runs at $1.50.
The budget proposed for next year would cut it down to two, more expensive tiers.
$3 for Oceanfront and downtown spots, and $2 everywhere else.
“It’s still lower than a lot of the communities we compare ourselves to,” said Myrtle Beach Spokesperson Mark Kruea. “It’s sort of a medium increase, but it does catch us up to where we ought to be after not doing anything the last seven years.”
Myrtle Beach would still be cheaper than Tybee Island, where oceanfront parking is $3.50 and Wrightsville Beach, where some spaces are as high as $5 an hour.
However, cities like Savannah and Charleston only charge $2 an hour at downtown meters.
Kruea says the extra cash would go straight back into downtown.
“The money stays in the area it was raised,” said Kruea. “It goes back into downtown projects, events. Through the years, it’s helped do a lot of the streetscapes we do downtown and a lot of events.”
Cerritos knows where she’d like to see her extra change go for the next time they’re in town.
“I would say maybe a park,” said Cerritos. “I haven’t seen a park.”
The Myrtle Beach city council will vote on a new budget Tuesday, and if approved, the new rates will take effect July 1.
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