Wildfire Doesn’t Affect Myrtle Beach Hotels
Despite last week’s wild fire that began near the Barefoot community in North Myrtle Beach, hotels in Myrtle Beach have now resumed normal operations and are telling tourists to come on down. While many residents of the North Myrtle Beach area were displaced because of the wild fire, the popular tourist attractions in the Myrtle Beach area remained unaffected for the most part and at this point all attractions and hotels are open and operating normally.
This includes the golf courses, with the exception of two Barefoot Resort courses, which are possibly Myrtle Beach’s most popular tourist attraction. The Myrtle Beach area has approximately 55 golf courses totaling 1,026 holes. While the wild fires burned more than 20,000 acres and destroyed nearly 70 homes, miraculously almost all of Myrtle Beach’s golf courses were spared from any damage.
The ability of the hotels and tourist attractions to remain in operation despite the wildfire is attributed to the quick action of local and state emergency personnel who acted diligently to control the wildfires. Also, due to the natural barrier created by the Intracoastal Waterway, much of the fire and smoke associated with the wild fires was prevented from reaching the tourism related businesses located along the Grand Strand. The Grand Strand is located east of the Intracoastal Waterway while the wild fires occurred west of the Intracoastal Waterway, which has allowed the tourist attractions to remain largely unaffected, even from the smoke which often lingers for days or weeks after a wild fire.
Even though the Myrtle Beach area was largely unaffected by the wild fires, Myrtle Beach officials have asked tourists to avoid Highway 22, Highway 31, and Highway 90, at least until the end of April, as portions of these roadways remain closed for precautionary measures due to the wild fires. These Myrtle Beach officials have also stated that the Myrtle Beach International Airport is open and completely unaffected and that as of April 24, 2009, all area golf courses are open and operating on a normal schedule.
At this point it should be pretty clear that the Myrtle Beach area is now operating normally despite the wild fires, but it is understandable that potential tourists may still have some questions. Potential tourists can contact the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce with any questions or concerns. Horry County is also making officials available to answer any questions or concerns regarding the wild fires.
Tourists who do make it down to Myrtle Beach during the remaining days of April will be able to participate in Myrtle Beach’s Go Green Month, which lasts through the entire month of April. During Go Green Month, tourists who show that they recycle are able to receive coupons and savings from many area merchants.
Although the wild fires struck right at the beginning of the tourist season, it appears that Myrtle Beach has met the challenge and they are open for business.