Coastal Uncorked left unfunded by Horry County Council

Published: Jun. 22, 2011 at 11:26 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 27, 2011 at 11:13 AM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The Coastal Uncorked Food and Wine Festival won't receive $40,000 in accommodations tax funds once set aside for the event.

Tuesday the Horry County Council almost unanimously voted to reverse the ATAX Committee's original decision to award the money.

Council Chairman Tom Rice was the only member to vote against the amendment to redistribute the money.

Council members who made the decision say it doesn't involve having it out for Coastal Uncorked, but that they just didn't think the festival was worth the investment just yet.

"They did not answer the questions I had which was how many room nights did they sell for the hotels, exactly what was the benefit," said Councilman Bob Grabowski.

Coastal Uncorked just held its second festival, since debuting in 2010.

The people behind the festival say no matter what the show will go on.

"We're always looking for sources of revenue for marketing to bring folks in from out of the area to attend the festival so that's really what we were seeking that money for. So we'll just continue looking for other sources for that revenue," said Candace Howell, executive director of Coastal Uncorked.

Those ATAX funds will instead go to the Horry County Police Department for beach services. HCPD says it'll put the money to use to ramp up water safety and beach patrol efforts.

Businesses in and around Market Common though, still say council may have overlooked the festival's benefit to the area.

"It sounds like they didn't do their homework on the fact that the number of people it brought into the Market Commons area. They really should reevaluate it and maybe get some opinions from the local businesses," said Carolann Saracco, who manages King Street Grille at Market Common.

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