MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — The summer tourist season in Myrtle Beach kicked off with high hopes and a lot of momentum.
By the sounds of things, that momentum hasn’t died down as the Grand Strand enters late summer.
Lodging data released Friday for last week shows that hotels in the area were 53.5 percent more occupied than the same week in 2020.
“From an occupancy standpoint everything really turned back to normal,” COO of Vacation Myrtle Beach Matt Klugman said. “But not only that, people were willing to pay a higher rate.”
The extra crowds in Myrtle Beach also helped businesses cash in on the summer season.
“This season, we actually had the best year we’ve ever had,” front house manager of Bandito’s Troy Bennett said. “Usually by 6:30 (on Fridays) we’re at an hour, hour and a half wait.”
The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce said although occupancy rates tend to begin to decrease as school starts, strong numbers are projected for September and October.
Klugman of Vacation Myrtle Beach- which operates over a dozen hotels in the area- agrees.
“We expect we’ll see business continue strong in September; it’s not petering out as quickly as it normally would,” he said. “The folks that typically come in fall, they’re still eager to get their turn to come to Myrtle Beach. We went a full year without conferences banquets that sort of thing that typically occurs in the fall. And that seems to be starting to return to normal as well.”
The chamber said it will release more detailed data about summer travel to Myrtle Beach after Labor Day. Count on News13 for updates.