Hotel, city employees start to see effects of Memorial Day weekend shootings

Some who work at Myrtle Beach hotels and motels say they've already started to see the effects from the shootings that took place in the city last weekend.

"We've been receiving phone calls of people who have future stays registered with us that we've refunded money," said Michelle Kendrick who is a clerk at the Oceans One Resort on Ocean Boulevard.

Kendrick was working at the resort when shots rang out Saturday night and was concerned for the safety of her employees and the guests there at the time.

Kendrick also says she has had to defend our area's reputation to future customers.

"We do tell them this is a family beach. And, you know, the difference between that weekend and today is completely different. And communicating that, though, is hard when they're hearing on national news and seeing the videos and the pictures," Kendrick said.

Mark Kruea, who is the spokesman for the City of Myrtle Beach, said he has gotten several calls from concerned, future visitors to our area, as well.

"We've had a few people call and say I'm canceling my summer vacation because of what we heard or saw last weekend, and we've had a few folks call and say, 'Well I've heard about last weekend. I've had a group coming down this weekend, do we need to be worried?,'" said Kruea.

WPDE NewsChannel 15 talked with Taylor Damonte, who is professor and director at Coastal Carolina University's Clay Brittain Jr. Center for Resort Tourism.

He said it will be difficult to link the weekend shootings to future occupancy rates, because it is an isolated incident.

At the same time, Damonte told us the projected forecast for vacation rental properties is up this week and next compared with the same weeks last year.

He said these vacation rental properties tend to be outside of Myrtle Beach.