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      ABATE, Atlantic Beach lobby Horry County council about Spring Harley rally

      The fallout continues from the announcement that came two weeks ago about the date change for Myrtle Beach Spring Harley rally.

      Horry County Council met Tuesday night and while bike week wasn't on the agenda, many at the meeting lobbied the council about the Spring Harley Rally date change.

      We've been unable to get a hold of the owner of the Harley store, who two weeks ago sent a memo out that the rally would be extended through Memorial Day weekend this year.

      Tuesday night, everyone from Horry County ABATE, a biker's political group, to Atlantic Beach's mayor pro tem were lobbying Horry County Council to take on the Spring Harley rally issue.

      At last month's county council meeting, Councilman Gary Loftis suggested revoking all May vendor permits for biker events. That came after the Harley store owner changed the dates of the bike week to go through Memorial day weekend.

      "Issue the permits the same time as they did last year. Don't deviate from it because the owner of the dealership, the Harley Davidson dealership does not speak on our behalf," says Chris Panos, Legislative Coordinator with Horry County ABATE.

      Panos remembers when the county restricted the number of vending permits for May and limited the length of time for any one permit to seven days in 2008.

      "In 2009, we tanked. 2010, it came up a little bit. 2011 it came up a little bit so we hope it continues to grow," he said.

      Atlantic Beach Mayor Pro Temp Carolyn Cole also lobbied council Tuesday. The small town is considering doing away with their Memorial Day Weekend Bike Fest after financial woes and knowledge of the possible date change.

      "There's some wonderful things we can do together to transition and transform Atlantic Beach, but we have to deal with the mindset that is dependent on black bikers weekend," Cole told council.

      The county estimates that they've sold between 10-15 vendor permits for the Spring Harley Rally.

      County officials will hold two meetings next week regarding bike week:

      -County Council Committee of the Whole: February 14th at 9:00 a.m.

      -County Public Safety meeting: February 16th at 5:00 p.m.