69th Annual Bike Week (AKA Cruisin' The Coast Bike Week) Will Still Be Held Along Myrtle Beach's Grand Strand In May 2009

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South Carolina's Grand Strand And Horry County, S.C. Welcome Bikers

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Myrtle Beach Harley-Davidson wants bikers to know that although the City of Myrtle Beach, S.C., has passed some laws designed to discourage bikers from attending the 69th Annual Spring Bike Week, May 8-17, the popular event is still on. From Murrells Inlet to Little River, other communities within Myrtle Beach's home county of Horry are gearing up to welcome bikers.

The majority of the events for Bike Week will take place in Horry County, outside of the Myrtle Beach City limits. Newly-passed Myrtle Beach rules and regulations WILL NOT affect bikers who visit or impact any of those activities and events.

"Many tourists wrongly believe that Myrtle Beach is synonymous with the 60-mile-long 'Grand Strand' that is visited by more than 14 million tourists annually," said Mike Shank, marketing director for Myrtle Beach Harley-Davidson. "In reality, the City of Myrtle Beach is just a small town inside of Horry County.

It only has 25,000 residents. To the north, south and west of Myrtle Beach is the much-larger Grand Strand community where there are many restaurants, bars, recreational facilities and accommodations. Horry County has more than 250,000 residents and they are preparing their businesses to welcome bikers.

"Unfortunately, information being sent out by Myrtle Beach and its Chamber of Commerce paints good, law-abiding motorcycle riders with the same broad brush as those who have broken laws in the past. In addition, their misinformation does not accurately portray the views of Horry County residents. The majority of people and businesses look forward to biker tourism and many rely on Bike Week to provide a significant portion of their yearly income."

The City of Myrtle Beach and the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce have initiated an aggressive media campaign that gives the erroneous impression that new laws the city recently passed apply county-wide.

However, those laws, which have reportedly been passed to discourage bikers from attending rallies in the area, apply only to the areas within the city limits of Myrtle Beach -- not throughout the Grand Strand and Horry County.

"Awareness of the new laws will ensure that bikers who plan to come to the Grand Strand have nothing to worry about," said Shank. "There will be plenty of activities and places to congregate outside of the city limits and throughout Horry County. It's unfortunate that the City of Myrtle Beach and the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce don't want biker business in May; but we hope bikers understand that many businesses both within the City and throughout Horry County look forward to bike week during the month of May. As long as you obey the laws and respect our community, you'll always be welcomed by the citizens of Horry County."

For the facts, Shank directs bikers to http://www.mbbikeweeks.com or http://www.myrtlebeachharley.com. At those sites, bikers can find information about the difference between Horry County and the City of Myrtle Beach, including maps, alternative routes that avoid the city limits, the new City of Myrtle Beach laws, and regular updates.

"We want bikers to know the facts so they can make an informed decision about visiting our area," adds Shank. "Grand Strand businesses want your business. The City of Myrtle Beach has never played a significant role in either the spring or fall bike weeks and has made it clear for many years that it doesn't want to play a role. They've raised taxes to eliminate biker tourism, but no other municipality in Horry County has done so. And the City of Myrtle Beach passed new ordinances designed to scare bikers away. No other local municipality or the county has done so. So we hope that bikers won't be discouraged by this campaign of misinformation. We want you to come to Horry County and have a great time this May."

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Mike Shank

(843) 267-7443
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Jamie Wilburn

843 448-1123
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