MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — As spring approaches and sports events draw students athletes to Myrtle Beach, hotels in the area are starting to get busier.

“It’s a nice change of pace having time off at the beach,” said Henry Bielen, who’s in town for a baseball tournament with his teammates from Delaware Valley University in Pennsylvania. “Getting together with friends and taking in the atmosphere in Myrtle, it’s a lot of our first time.”

Crowds on Ocean Boulevard are starting to grow, between families and college students in Myrtle Beach for events or spring break.

“For us our first time here there was a lot of funky cars and a lot of street life,” Bielen said. “We liked the tourist attractions.”

The latest hotel occupancy data from the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce is for last week. It said almost 54% of rooms then were booked, which is a 37% increase over the same week last year.

Some hotels, though, are still unsure of how this season will pan out.

“We’re seeing a lot of like walk-in traffic on the weekends,” operations manager at Roxanne Towers Donald Burton said. “Little hesitant on the oncoming summer because the bookings aren’t as strong as they were last season.”

Burton said he thinks gas prices and the political climate could impact how much people travel this year.

“We’re hoping for a great year,” he said. “I don’t see it in my bookings yet. But it could be some people hesitant to book yet. Like they’re still planning to vacation they just haven’t pulled the trigger.”