MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – Myrtle Beach hotels can now officially take new reservations while preparing for a possible rush of beachgoers for Memorial Day weekend.
According to a weekly Coastal Carolina University study, tourists are definitely making their way back to Grand Strand in relatively steady numbers.
Taylor Damonte is the director of Clay Brittain Jr. Center for Resort Tourism at CCU. He says the latest lodge projection is showing a favorable July booking season for short-term rentals, stating the current bookings are holding steady compared to the same booking amount time last year.
“Based on the fact that bookings were at or above where they were last year this time, it is possible that if we are able to open and open fully that we could be as busy or busier than we were last July," Damonte said.
The lodging data is based on information submitted from hotels that were open last week along the Grand Strand. Most of those hotels went from zero to 28 occupancy within a week without new bookings.
The hotels also submitted booking information about reservations in the coming months, which Damonte says show tourists are definitely making their way back to the beaches.
Myrtle Beach hotels have spent the ‘soft opening period’ preparing for any possible influx of beachgoers as the summer season kicks off. But for many hotels, they’re already feeling that tourist rush for the first time since having to close their doors.
“It’s been busy," said Angela Johnson, office manager for the Water Park Hotel on Ocean Boulevard. "Yep, busy, busy busy.”
Johnson says the phones have been ringing off the hook for reservations since Thursday.
“That means we’re going to do good this season," Johnson said.
However, those tables turn with tourists rushing to the beaches. Staff at Breakers Sailfish Resort say they’ll be ready to safely welcome back their guests.
“We’ve got a really busy week and we’ve made several preparations for them," said Rebecca Smith, general manager for the resort. "We’re really excited to have guests staying with us again.”