Why Surfside Beach could benefit from others' beach tent bans

Parts of Horry County remain divided on the issue of whether to ban tents on the beach.

Tuesday night, Horry County Council passed a year round beach tent ban for all beaches in unincorporated parts of Horry County.

Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach have already banned them for the summer.

But one part of Horry County where they are still allowed is Surfside Beach.

Since 2007, Surfside Beach has had an ordinance that requires any tents and umbrellas to be ten feet behind lifeguard stands, so as to avoid blocking line of sight of lifeguards.

According to Surfside Beach officials, town council has discussed the tent issue in several meetings, but they have no intention of changing their code.

Officials added that because they don't have the density of North Myrtle Beach or Myrtle Beach, they don't anticipate it getting much busier. They explained that a big reason for this is they don't have as many high rise hotels and complexes.

But some in Surfside Beach think the tent bans in other areas will lead to a busier season.

Curtis Kramer, owner of Pier Outfitters in Surfside Beach, might get an extra scoop of business this summer.

"This is great for us. This should be a good year for the businesses here on the beach. It should help us all tremendously. It really should," Kramer explained.

Surfside Beach officials said even with the bans in other areas, they don't expect the beach to get too overloaded with beach tents this summer, but Sue Ann Braswell worries it will.

"It's kind of upsetting because next year when you come here it's going to be nothing but tents, tents, tents," Braswell explained.

Braswell and her family have been vacationing in Surfside Beach for years. She said if more tents start to spring up, the area could lose the quiet, relaxed vibe it's always had. "You're not going to have this place where you can actually get away to be in a quiet spot."

Officials in Surfside Beach said they'll continue to monitor the situation this summer and if something had to be done, they would do it in the future.

Others area seem to be following suit.

Georgetown County spokeswoman Jackie Broach said Georgetown County will not ban them through this summer.

She explained that they do currently have an ordinance that says beach tents can't be left on beaches overnight, tents also cannot be within twenty five feet of a sea turtles nest, and tents and umbrellas must also not be block any emergency or beach access.

Broach said so far, they haven't had a lot of issues with them.

Broach said in the past they have considered bringing their beach tents in line with Horry County, but since then they have decided not to do so.