Grand Strand tourism industry hopes to cash in on Northeast storm

Myrtle Beach's tourism industry plans to cash in on the rough winter everyone up north is experiencing by marketing to all those cities bearing the brunt of these arctic blasts.

The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce is investing between $3.5 and $4.2 million on their winter/spring ad campaign, advertising in 20 northern markets all in a hope to help local businesses.

"It's going to get people down here a lot sooner than they normally would," said Mike Kaminsky, owner of Kaminsky's New York Deli.

Kamisky added that he hopes that advertising will mean even more people coming in for sandwiches. "They're going to come to town quicker. There will be golfers coming to town quicker. The activity of advertising is definitely going to help."

About 10% of the chamber's budget is set aside to take advantage of opportunities just like this snowstorm.

"We see it as an opportunity to remind folks that are in those cold weather markets that we're here, we've got beautiful beaches, warm weather," explained Brad Dickerson with the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce.

The advertising is working. Kaminsky said he's seen more customers earlier in the shoulder season than in years past, which is a hopeful sign for other small businesses here too.

"The excitement part that I would have is that maybe some businesses would not have to close in the wintertime."

A lot of the chamber's ad campaign focuses on the contrast with the snow northerners see out their windows and the sunshine, beach and palmetto trees along the Grand Strand.

Markets targeted by the campaign include New York and Baltimore, two cities very hard hit by the storm.