Jan 26, 2007
In all this hubbub, has anyone noticed that this Beach is totally quiet right now? As a local businessman, I certainly have. It isn't pleasant trying to figure out who's going to get paid this week and knowing one of them probably isn't going to be me. But that's often the way it is in September. Seems to me, all these folks ought to consider what it would be like to have May become another September around here. The economy is slow enough, people who have condos can't rent them, and yet, you want to tell half a month's worth of tourists and their money (not to mention those who return at other times) to "Take a hike?" Really smart. Let me explain a little Economics 101: It's called "supply and demand." Myrtle Beach has a great "supply" of businesses offering a great "supply" of things for tourists to do, whatever they drive or ride. If you keep impeding the "demand" of those tourists, sooner or later, you have less and less "demand" for that ever increasing "supply. " Even those of you who failed Econ 101 know what that means. To dumb this down for those who still don't get it, This is NOT the time to get picky about which tourists we have! You are not going to replace these tourist dollars in May with anything substantial in the foreseeable future and everyone, not just those who own bike related businesses, is going to suffer economically. As for the ludicrous ordinances, they are, in many case unconstitutional on their face, as an earlier poster has pointed out. But that won't stop the soon-to-be ex-mayor and his "lame duck" council from attempting to drive away "paying customers." (Sep 23, 2008 | post #86)
Sir, with all due respect, you really don't have a clue. This town in which I have lived for almost 20 years, has shown a remarkably inept sense of dealing with the life blood of the town, the tourist. If you want an upscale town, you've settled in the wrong place. Try Hilton Head instead. This is, after all, "The Redneck Riviera." In the years I have lived here, I have watched the town (and monetary exchange rates) turn Can-Am week from a very popular week, (traditionally the first of the year)into just another blip on the radar. People like you made the Canadians feel unwelcome, so now they're no longer here in anything like the numbers they were in the 90's. I've watched this town do whatever they could to run off the golf business, from taking away video poker to closing golf courses for development which, in the current economy, will never be built. Take a look at Bay Tree lately? How'd you like to own property there? A great many of the golfers who used to come here, now go to Alabama and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. When I first moved here, Spring Break was a huge deal. Now it, like the Can-Am days, is merely a blip. Until 2005, I lived in the heart of the city (67th Ave.) and I have never had a problem with getting to or from work during Harley week. Do I like the traffic? No, but it's no worse than during July and August. Anyone with any sense of reality knows that there is nothing the city or the county can do about Atlantic Beach. As long as they're an incorporated town, there will be Bikefest, like it or not. You can't put up a wall around Myrtle Beach to keep them out, much as you might like to. Of course, after you've made the Harley rallies go away, you'll have lot's of police with nothing to do, so they can all work Memorial Day Weekend filling the already overcrowded J. Reuben Long with more "customers. " Some like you will not be satisfied until NO ONE comes to Myrtle Beach anymore. When that happens, be ready to watch YOUR property taxes go through the roof. I ask the citizenry of Myrtle Beach and Horry County to DEMAND that this highly questionable issue be put on the November ballot in the entire county, as well as the city. If this does NOT happen, there are a good many city and county council persons who may face the wrath of the electorate their next time out. (Ask Liz Gilliland about her last campaign.) That is not a threat, but merely a political reality. (Aug 20, 2008 | post #630)
Good point. And, to those who say that casino jobs are mostly "crap" jobs, I'll say this: Most floor supervisors (next step under a pit boss) make between 30 and 40K a year. Pit bosses even more. Cage personnel about the same. Also, consider that most casinos "comp" drinks to those who are playing, and you'll find that the waitstaff who push cocktails and such make a pretty fair wage through tips, far more than in hotel lounges, restaurants, or bars. And, let's be completely fair: There uis NO COMPARISON between what South Carolina had during the video poker days and what would happen in a full-blown, land based casino. The "real" casinos tend to pay people to keep them rather than hire the cheapest help available. (Aug 12, 2008 | post #431)
Excuse me, the state NEVER voted. The State Supreme Court decided this issue 5 months BEFORE the referendum. Had it come to a vote, I do not know which side would have won, but I could accept the decision of the people, had that been the case. As it was, the PEOPLE of South Carolina were subverted to the will of three justices who decided that since the legislature wouldn't do anything to stop the business, they would. Read a little bit about constitutional law and then talk to me about it. (Aug 8, 2008 | post #305)
Kenneth, that kind of mentality is what keeps South Carolina in the dark ages in a whole lot of ways. The "South Carolina Education Lottery" makes millions less than it would have made had the State just shut up and put the monitoring system on the machines when they were here. No one stood out in the middle of the road with a gun and said "You MUST come give me your whole paycheck/welfare check." People need to have some sense of self responsibility and if they don't then I am sorry for them. Truth is that when there WAS video poker in SC, the only people that paid for the Gamblers Anonymous "hot line" were the machine operators. I know, because I was one, and paid to keep the hot line operational. All that the machine operators wanted was a referendum, and instead, we got a State Supreme Court that went way beyond its constitutional mandate and "legislated " the machines out of the state. Wake up, my friend, the only way that the local economy here stays afloat in the long term is casino gambling. As I posted earlier, the only entity that you could put here at the Beach that would not close down for December, January and February is a casino. The time has come. (Aug 8, 2008 | post #289)
Here's the problem with that idea, (which is not to say it is a BAD one, just improbable:)Just as the MBCC doesn't want bikers here anymore, the same folks will stand and scream loudly against casino gambling in a "family" resort. And, frankly, B & C doesn't want to be in the casino business. If there is to be a casino at some point in Horry County, (and I predict that there will be within 5 years,)whoever develops it would probably opt for being outside the city limits, for tax reasons if nothing else. That, at least to me, makes the property adjacent to HRP a prime location for such an endeavor. If you make the HRP an ADJUNCT to a casino/hotel property, instead of the main attraction, it seems to me you have an outright winner. And, guess what? The casino won't shut down in December, January, and February. As to the park itself, I have not been there, but I'm not a theme park guy. (I lived for 2 years about 1/4 mile from the entrance to Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, and never went there, not even once.) Accordingly, I won't pass judgement on something I have not seen firsthand. That being said, I would not have ever built anything in that particular location without having demolished the old "Outlet Park" buildings. The remains of those once-busy structures only serve to hide the HRP and tarnish the "brand new" image. Having worked in Mall 3 when I first came to Myrtle back in the early 90's, I can tell you that anyone who thinks those buildings have any future promise is only fooling themselves. They were dysfunctional even back then, and with the years of no occupancy, they're certainly not going to be easy to restore. I do feel for the people who've been laid off, but I also know that in every new business plan for a customer oriented enterprise, there is a factor for attrition to take your number of employees down during the first few months of operation. Even Wal Mart "overhires " by 20% for a new store, knowing that close to that percentage will wash out, one way or another. It is possible that because of the economy, that attrition factor may not have happened to the expected degree. Next year will be critical (in my opinion) for HRP. If they can do some better marketing, offer a little more in the way of attractions, and organize their people a little better, they might still make it. If not, beware of Donald Trump bearing sacks of money. (Aug 8, 2008 | post #227)
I'd really like to know where this "overwhelming majority" comes from. I've lived here for 20 years , and while I may not always enjoy the traffic during Harley week, it's never upset me, nor most of the people who I know here. Perhaps the best way to settle where the permanent residents stand on this issue would be for the county to run a referendum on the November ballot. Let the voters who live here decide. Personally, I believe that the majority of hoteliers, restaurant owners and workers, and business people would support some form of modification, but I don't think they'd vote for banning the Rally altogether. Particularly with our "big, new attraction," Hard Rock Park, teetering on the edge of going belly up, it might be wise to keep the tourists we have. And while we're at it, let's be really honest here. I've posted over and over again that there is NO WAY Atlantic Beach is going to do away with Bikefest, regardless of what the city or county have to say about it. It's a large fund raiser for that little town and there's no constitutional way that either government entity can do anything about what they want to promote. Compromise? Sure. Cut the HD rally to 5-7 days. No vendor permits? No big deal, many bikers have already posted that they don't care that much about the vendors anyway. But until someone can show me that there's a VAST MAJORITY here (as many try to claim) that don't want the Rally to continue, (as in a referendum), I'm not going to be convinced. (Aug 6, 2008 | post #233)
Megan, I like that idea as well, but NASCAR being what it is, and the schedule being what it is, it isn't going to happen. Besides, I'm not so sure Smoke could fit in an Indy car anymore. That being said, AJ and Smoke are of the same temperament and could be kinda like AJ and George Bignotti were in the 60's. (Aug 4, 2008 | post #9)
I've said all along that in equal equipment, I like Sarah's chances. Equipment being what it is, however,I'm afraid Sarah is just throwing good money after bad. Penske isn't going to happen, and AGR already has one diva. That being said, if I was sitting in the "big chair" at RLR or Foyt, I might give her a chance. She's shown a willingness to put her OWN money on the line to do what she believes she can do. And, she is, unlike Danica, popular among her peers. That is not to say that I don't believe Danica has talent, I do; but, I think Sarah has some "gitty up" as well, and I would love to see her get a REAL chance. C'mon, AJ....You KNOW you want to run a second car. Darren Manning is coming along nicely and a 41 car with Sarah aboard is a sponsor magnet, if you pursue the right sponsors. Maybe you could do some real engineering on those cars and get the edge to become really competitive.... (Jul 31, 2008 | post #6)
Interesting. I am not only a Republican, but a former video poker operator. This issue, in spite of what anyone thinks, cuts across party lines to some extent. Certainly, Mr. McMaster has been an opponent of any reinstatement of video poker, but let's look at just a few facts: In my particular establishment, we employed over 130 people. Many of those people had not worked since the textile mills left. If I were to venture a guess, I would submit that half of those people probably haven't worked since. The State had a proposal for a statewide monitoring system that, in all likelihood, would have prevented a lot of the "skimming " that some of the larger operators were doing. It would have added substantially to the $100 million the State was collecting annually in machine licenses. So, the State stood to make a good windfall had video poker been allowed to survive. It was all there, ready to go when the State Supreme Court decided it would do what the State Legislature would not. No one will release the figures about the hundreds of bars, convenience stores, and other businesses that failed because of the lost income provided by the machines. I've spoken to well over a hundred of these 5 machine operators personally. I also believe that it is only a matter of time before "full blown" casino gambling comes ashore here in South Carolina. One only has to look as far as the Hard Rock Park to see that that whole area is "screaming " for a casino to anchor the property. Do you think Donald Trump wouldn't love to develop that whole area around the "Trump Intracoastal Hotel and Casino?" It would sure look a whole lot better than surrounding your new major attraction with an old, closed outlet mall, wouldn't it? With the flagging economy all around us, doesn't it make sense to consider other forms of revenue for the area? (Jul 29, 2008 | post #2)
Now there, we agree. I have always liked Sarah Fisher, but she's never had the equipment that even Lynn St. James had in her day, let alone something that could compete with Danica. Given equal equipment, I'd like to see that rivalry, but sadly, it'll never happen. (Jul 28, 2008 | post #8)
Believe it or not, I agree with you. In any race, you pay your money and take your chances. I was at the 1973 Indy 500 days, 1 and 2. Got a whole lot of drunk, rained on, and from my position on the inside of turn 1 (the infamous Snakepit)about the only racing I saw was a tire roll up near us on the fence, on day 1. The second day, I had upgraded to Southeast Vista seats, courtesy of some guy who had to leave town. Sat there all day, got terribly inebriated, and never saw a wheel turned in anger. And, again, got totally soaked. For day 3, I had again upgraded to seats at the top of the lower grandstand going into 1. When the morning of day 3 broke rainy, I never even left home to drive to Indy. And I missed the race. I sat through two Rick Mears wins that were almost as boring as yesterday. Point is, sometimes the weather, the race, or some other factor sucks, and that's the gamble of going to any race. If we start demanding refunds any time we're not totally satisfied, then we'll kill the sport we love. (Jul 28, 2008 | post #26)
The diamond grind was done for the other two races that are/were held there. And sorry, NASCAR fans, the Indianapolis 500 is what made the Speedway, not the Brickyard 400. When the Brickyard hits its 92nd running, then maybe, but not now. The diamond grind works very well for the lighter weight Indycars and F-1 cars. And, as I pointed out, it has been the same surface since 2005. Goodyear SHOULD have had some insight by now as to the cause and effect of running a higher center of gravity car, or at least should have been doing all the testing they could to determine what tire compound would stand up best on that surface. Goodyear and NASCAR flat dropped the ball on this one and got caught for it. 88fan, don't ask Tony George to fund resurfacing the track just for NASCAR. He's spent more to update that facility than anyone will ever know and he's got a surface that Indy cars can live with and even appeases the F-1 snobs. He has to worry more about the 500 and trying to lure F-1 back at some time. (Jul 28, 2008 | post #21)
Excuse me, but if you're laying any of this on IMS, you're WAY off base. That surface hasn't changed since 2005, and NASCAR ran there last year on the same tire with less than perfect results. Funny thing, however, is that Indycars run Firestones around the place without anywhere near the failure rate we saw yesterday. And, oh, by the way, they run about 40 mph. faster. Even the track snobs from F-1 had no problem with the surface after their little Michelin fiasco there. NASCAR and Goodyear really "screwed the pooch" on this one, first for not having a full-blown test with the COT, and second, for Goodyear not having some alternative compound to put in place when it was apparent throughout the weekend that the track was not going to "rubber-in " the way they had hoped. And while we're at it, what's up with NASCAR forbidding Mark Martin from pitting a lap ahead of the "competition cautions" to improve his track position. Last time I checked, racing was supposed to be about finding the best way to work with the circumstances they're dealt, not with trying to keep everyone running in a parade. NASCAR further screwed up this procedure by continuing the "competition cautions" after the halfway point of the race. By that point, all the teams had a pretty clear idea of what they were dealing with. There was no need for NASCAR to keep running everyone off the track to check tires when they ALL knew what they were up against and could (or should have) dealt with the problem accordingly. There's plenty of blame to go around, to be sure, but the Speedway should bear no part of it. (Jul 28, 2008 | post #17)
Here's an idea, Surfside.... How about a Poker Run during next year's Harley Rally. Oooops, y'all didn't want those bad 'ol bikers hanging around, even though this is the type of fund raiser that Harley riders do often. The idiocracy is in complete control... (Jul 23, 2008 | post #18)
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