Businesses start to rev their engines for 75th Spring Harley Rally

Motorcycle engines will roar a lot louder starting Friday for the 75th Annual Spring Harley Rally in Myrtle Beach.

Jamie Keats, owner of Jamin' Leather, says he expects a big turnout, especially since this is a milestone year for the rally.

"We think that it's going to be extremely popular this year. We see a lot of positive responses," Keats said.

61 vendor permits have been issued in Horry County, according to spokesperson Lisa Bourcier.

Around 75 were issued last year, but she says there could be more permits coming in as the week goes on.

Some local businesses say this year's rally is pivotal, because it's their chance to make a lasting impression on the people who visit, so they'll want to come back in years to come.

Don Emery, owner of Dog House Donny's Saloon, says he wants to take a more personal approach towards this year's rally.

"We are looking to go back to 1996 and meet everyone one-on-one to start bringing them back into the beach," Emery said.

Both Keats and Emery are putting up new signage outside their businesses to appeal to patrons.

Instead of "Donny's Saloon," the bar is now called "Dog House Donny's Saloon".

"We are hoping the name branding will be recognizable to the out of town bikers, that they'll know what to expect with the Dog House name on the sign, and hopefully they'll have fond memories and the nostalgia," Emery said.

Emery is not just using nostalgia as a strategy; he's also using social media.

"We are encouraging everybody to take pictures in front of the signs post and tag us on Facebook and come and join us in the party," Emery said.

Jamin' Leather has also teamed up with around 50 Grand Strand businesses this year for a new promotion event to drive more traffic to businesses.

It's a $5000 Selfie Scavenger Hunt. Find out more here:

While more people are on the beach and participating in these activities, Myrtle Beach police encourage people to be careful on the roads.

"If you're driving a vehicle, just be aware of your surroundings; double check your blind spots. If you don't have to pull out in front of a motorcycle then don't. A lot of people aren't used to judging the distance and speed of motorcycles," said Corporal Kevin Cast of the Myrtle Beach Police Department.

Cast also says both drivers and motorcyclists should be careful of areas that are under construction.

Kings Highway, Hwy 501, and 17 Bypass are some of the areas to watch, because there are lane closures, construction debris in roads, changes in elevation of lanes, and grated roads.

Many motorists say traffic seems to be the worst on Hwy 501. There will be no lane closures on Hwy 501 by Friday, according to Anna Levy, Horry County's resident construction engineer for SCDOT.

Levy says a big chunk of the widening project will be finished in time for the start of the rally on Friday. Only detail work will be needed moving forward.

The Spring Harley Rally runs from May 9 to May 18.