Horry County Council considers options for bike rally vendor permits

There's no doubt the Spring Harley Rally will roll in May.

But what is in doubt is whether Horry County will hand out vendor permits for rally events.

After Myrtle Beach Harley Davidson moved the dates of their Cruisin' the Coast Spring Rally from May 14-20 to May 18-28, the same weekend as Atlantic Beach Bike Fest, Horry County council members threatened to revoke all May bike rally vendor permits.

During Tuesday's Committee of the Whole meeting, council members took public input from the crowd and discussed what options to consider.

"I think we need to leave well enough alone," said Councilman Harold Worley. Worley, Councilman Bob Grabowski, Councilman Gary Loftus and Councilman Al Allen are part of a group wanting to keep the biker permits the same.

Currently, permits last seven days for the Spring Rally, May 14-20 and four days for Atlantic Beach's Bike Fest, May 25-28.

"I don't think doing away with vendor permits is going to do away with the problems that we are trying to address here," said Allen. "What we need to address is the noise, the traffic and the law violators."

"Mt. Gilead is right at the ground zero of this thing," said Councilman Paul Price, "and I cannot ask those people to bear anymore."

During the meeting, Price urged the council to revoke all permits because residents in his district say combining the two rallies will create traffic problems for residents and emergency responders.

Out of the discussion came a third option of reducing the permits to only three days. Council Chairman Tom Rice backed that option, but he also is weighing the option of throwing out permits all together.

"In my mind, the proposal to extend the rallies in any way is absolutely unacceptable," said Rice. "People already have enough to deal with. I would prefer to see the rallies be shortened and/or the permits eliminated all together."

After Rice requested Myrtle Beach City Council's input on the permits, City Council asked County Council to reduce the bike rally vendor permits to three days.

But with all the talk Tuesday afternoon, there was no resolution.

Council plans to vote on which avenue to take at its February 28th meeting.