MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Some downtown Myrtle Beach businesses say fall might bring in more business than “tourism season.”
And Myrtle Beach being one of Trip Advisor’s “Top 10 Fall Destinations” is changing employment on the Grand Strand.
Grand Strand Brewery’s owner, Clayton Burrous, said he and his staff look forward to the shoulder season. He said the energy and climate is the perfect environment to crack open a beer and enjoy the downtown views.
“The other big, big industry is our restaurant industry,” said Karen Riordan, the CEO and president of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce. “We have over 2,000 restaurants from Pawleys all the way to Little River.”
“There’s a wide variety of dining options on the Grand Strand, but the Chamber said something they all have in common is the struggle to find enough workers at the beginning of the year.
But once fall comes around, it’s a different story.
“They struggled with not having enough business to keep all those people busy, so they used to have to let go of a lot of those people, lay them off, furlough them or say, ‘I’m really sorry, but hopefully I can rehire you again next year,'” Riordan said.
The Chamber said that now, with steady business through the fall, businesses along the Grand Strand are seeing fewer layoffs.
That’s because restaurants like Oceanfront on the boardwalk are staying busy year-round.
“Typically, by November, there’s no one here,” said Briana Plymale, a manager at Oceanfront. “It’s very slow, slow pace. But the last three years, it’s gotten better and better and sometimes our offseason is better than our season.”
Burrous said about 70% of its employees are full-time now.
“We are, at times, busier in the shoulder season than we are in the summer,” Burrous said.
Burrous said the uptick in his brewery’s fall business is linked to the city’s efforts to make Myrtle Beach a livelier fall destination, with events like the Chili Cook Off at the end of September.
“We’re kind of a catch-all for people looking to do something before and after,” Burrous said. “The events, more than anything I think really help us during the shoulder season and at times gives us more business I think than we would have just in a generic week during the summer time.”
The Chamber said its next goal is attracting more tourists over the holidays. It also has exciting things planned to make the beach more of a “winter wonderland.”