MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Flags are up, people are here, and reservations are booked in Myrtle Beach. Oceanfront hotels and resorts reopened in time for Memorial Day Weekend.
Reservations are sold out at many hotels. Several hotel owners say every room is full Saturday night. Owner of four Myrtle Beach Hotels, Amish Patel, said he’s expecting sales to even come close to last year’s record sales.
The beginning of Memorial Day weekend is off to a good start for the Myrtle Beach hospitality industry as dozens of ‘no vacancy’ signs lite up hotels and resort signs on Ocean Boulevard.
Owners say some northeast families drove overnight and checked in this morning and others flew in this afternoon.
“We decided for Memorial Day Weekend this place was open, where northeast is closed down,” visitors from Virginia, Evan Landauer and step-dad said.
Holiday weekend demand was weak on Monday and Tuesday, according to Patel. By Wednesday, it began picking up. On Friday, Patel was sold out for the weekend.
“We know from our corporate and other hotels that Myrtle Beach is probably one of the best markets right now,” Patel said.
Hotel owners rely heavily on the holiday weekend. With COVID-19 and guest’s concerns, they didn’t know what to expect.
News13 asked vacationers if the pandemic influenced the decision whether or not to come. Visitors eagerly answered no but planned to come taking new precautions.
For owners, every weekend and holiday counts as businesses focus on financial recovery starting with Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day.
This weekend is the first holiday to make up for lost business during the coronavirus.
“We need these few months as we all know this is a very seasonal market,” Patel said.
Heavy traffic and sold out reservations are good signs for hotel owners and the rest of the Myrtle Beach economy.
“Some restaurants are open some aren’t, 50% capacity, and some seem to be more packed than others,” Landauer said.
It’s only the beginning of Memorial Day weekend and owners say they’re on the right road to recovery.
“To have these few months do well will benefit us pull through this winter into next season,” Patel said.