Vendor permit changes voted down for spring bike rally

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) Grand Strand residents both for and against shortening spring bike rallies say they are upset by Horry County Council's decision Tuesday night.

The council voted to make no changes to ordinances surrounding the rally Tuesday night after more than three months of debating whether or not to alter the length of special event and vendor permits for bike rallies in the Grand Strand.

Owner of Jamin' Leather in Myrtle Beach, Jamie Keats, is a member of the Harley Davidson Spring Bike Rally Committee and he says the entire month-long debate was for nothing.

"[They are] wasting tax payers money and a lot of people's time and energy," Keats said.

Keats said his business should not see any negative impacts, but other merchants said they are not as lucky.

"SBB" Biker Bar Manager Bill Barber said ownership could not start scheduling vendors or entertainment for the rally until they knew how long it was going to be; a decision made by Horry County on Tuesday night.

The delayed decision now leaves SBB with only three weeks to put together an event they said would normally have been planned in January.

"I spent all day [Wednesday] trying to book bands and vendors and trying to get all of our stuff done since we only have three weeks [until] bike week, and it's an impossible job," Barber said.

Hines Pegram, a Myrtle Beach resident, said crime and constant noise are a problem every year during the spring bike rally, and he wanted to see a shortened event.

"It's lawlessness,"  Pegram said.  "We have concern for our grandchildren and our lives when we go out [during bike week]. It's very dangerous."

Pegram said he applauds members of Horry County Council for attempting to shorten the bike rally, but wishes they would have done something to relieve the hassle he and his wife deal with yearly.

"It is [a disappointment], because of the lack of putting a boundary on long and how reckless, and what they are,"  Pegram said.

The Harley Davidson Spring Bike Rally is scheduled to run between May 14 - 20.

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