Surfside Beach: Made in the shade?

Signs prohibiting beach tents have popped-up at several Grand Strand beach access points since May.

Beach tents are prohibited year-round on all beaches in unincorporated areas of Horry County. They're banned on beaches in the City of Myrtle Beach from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and they're banned in North Myrtle Beach and Atlantic Beach from May 15 to September 15.

Now some beachgoers have found Surfside Beach more attractive since it's the only area in Horry County that allows people to use beach tents.

"That's one of the major reasons we come here is we are able to set tents up and not get harassed by people for doing that," said Guy Guernsey.

Guernsey strapped his family's tent to the roof of his car before he made the 13-hour drive to the beach from Indiana.

He says it's an important asset to his family vacation, because it helps to shade his family and his grandkids from the sun.

Although people like Guernsey are more likely come to Surfside Beach because it is beach tent friendly, many say they haven't noticed an increase in the number of tents they've seen on the beach over previous years.

However, one business owner on Surfside Pier said it's too early in the season to tell if the beach will be busier with tents this year.

"July and August I think we will feel the real effect of the beach tents at that point in time when everybody figures out this is the only place left to put up a beach tent. So, I'm certain we'll feel it then," said Curtis Kremer, owner of Pier Outfitters.

Kremer also said he doesn't believe Surfside Beach will become overrun with tents, because there are not high rise hotels lining the beach like in Myrtle Beach or North Myrtle Beach.