Why Myrtle Seaside SC motels ban locals from staying with them

Hotels in Myrtle Beach fill the skyline along Ocean Boulevard on March 26, 2020.

Inns in Myrtle Seaside fill the skyline alongside Ocean Boulevard on March 26, 2020.

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Christopher Ward needed to ebook a weekend stick with North Seaside Resorts & Villas in North Myrtle Seaside for him and his fiancée.

The pair, who reside in Carolina Forest, work in well being care and needed to have a staycation by the seaside, a respite from 12 hour days at work.

However North Seaside Resorts instructed Ward no.

The corporate doesn’t lease to locals.

“I attempted to ebook on-line and you set your handle and all that stuff in it” and the web site kicked him out with the message “Sorry, we don’t lease to anyone in Horry County,” he stated.

Then, he referred to as the resort to seek out out why he was being blocked from reserving.

“After I spoke to the receptionist, she principally simply stated, ‘No, we don’t lease Horry or Georgetown County,’“ Ward stated. He by no means received a transparent reply why.

Ward isn’t the one individual to run into such a roadblock.

It’s not laborious to seek out complaints on social media from different Grand Strand residents who discovered themselves in the identical state of affairs. Just some weeks in the past, a publish by a Myrtle Seaside girl about getting rejected by an area resort garnered 75 feedback on Fb. Many who replied shared their related tales and expressed outrage that lodging entities had been allowed to try this.

Typically, the resort or short-term rental company would advocate one other place to remain on the seaside that didn’t observe the identical rule.

However that wasn’t at all times the case.

But, regardless of what seems to be to be new outrage over the coverage, many Myrtle Seaside lodging entities — motels, condos, trip leases comparable to AirBnB — have refused to let locals stick with them for many years.

It’s fully authorized, too.

The state gave motels and trip leases license to do it in a 1994 legislation.

North Seaside Resorts is way from the one entity that bars locals from renting a room. The holiday rental company CondoWorld bars locals from reserving with them on-line.

“Sure, we’ve the identical rule for on-line bookings. Most trip rental properties do the identical,” CondoWorld’s chief advertising officer Alex Husner stated in a textual content message. “However should you name we’ll permit it.”

Why do motels and trip leases ban locals?

Renee Wikstrom, CEO of the Coastal Carolina Higher Enterprise Bureau, stated there are two most important issues behind the locals ban: partying and crime.

Inns and motels discovered that they struggled to cope with younger folks partying throughout spring break or promenade, Wikstrom stated. One large concern was folks leaping from the balcony into the pool beneath.

The opposite drawback is crime, notably medication and prostitution.

After so many incidents over time – a lot of them tied to locals – Wikstrom stated some lodging entities simply discover it simpler to ban locals altogether. It’s a pre-emptive strike to unravel the issue.

“After they weigh it out, they’d moderately have some empty rooms than must cope with it,” she stated.

Ward stated his most important concern was not simply that he was being blocked from staying at an area resort.

He worries motels might be banning specific zip codes, comparable to one which had been majority Black, as a solution to discriminate.

Wikstrom, nonetheless, stated the state legislation wouldn’t permit that.

Any bans on residents from a sure space must be broader. Choosing and selecting zip codes which might be clearly tied to protected minority teams possible wouldn’t be allowed beneath the state legislation.

“Historical past tells us that there’s a disproportionate variety of events or giant gatherings in the case of native residents,” Brittain Resorts spokesman Steve Jones stated. As a result of it usually ends in, “Bothering different friends on the resort or harm to the rooms.”

Brittain Resorts is answerable for North Seaside Resorts & Villas, the property that instructed Ward he couldn’t stick with them. In Ward’s case, although, Jones stated there should have been a misunderstanding.

Jones stated there may be not “laborious no” coverage towards all locals. If a visitor needs to remain at a property owned or affiliated with Brittain Resorts, they will name the resort and, if crucial, ask to talk to the overall supervisor. Relying on the circumstance, the resort will permit them to remain. When there’s a hurricane, for instance, Jones stated Brittain Resorts accepts locals with out hesitation. Or, generally the Pink Cross reaches out requesting assist for a particular household, he stated, and the corporate accommodates these friends.

In Ward’s case, Jones stated Ward mustn’t have been instructed no by the resort and stated Brittain would work to determine what occurred. Jones stated Brittain Resorts would additionally be sure that workers are skilled to just accept friends who they imagine are less than something nefarious.

At CondoWorld, Husner needs they didn’t want such a coverage.

“It takes a little bit vetting to verify it’s not a shady visitor,” Husner stated in a textual content. “Native friends can usually be utilizing lodging for unhealthy issues. Unhappy however true. This rule is frequent in different resort locations as effectively. In fact there are various locals that might be completely tremendous. It’s too unhealthy that some unhealthy apples smash it for everybody.”

A Myrtle Seaside coverage

In different elements of the state, it’s a lot much less frequent — and even unprecedented — for lodging firms to have a coverage banning locals.

I had by no means even heard of that earlier than,” stated Chris Hadley, CEO of the Higher Enterprise Bureau for Columbia and Charleston. “This isn’t one thing that occurs right here in Columbia.” He was unaware of such a coverage in Charleston.

The Charleston Conference and Guests Bureau was crystal clear its response.

“We would not have such a coverage within the Charleston market, and we might not be in favor of such,” Charleston Conference and Guests Bureau spokesman C. Douglas Warner stated in an electronic mail. “Our customer business provides to the standard of life that locals get pleasure from, and we might by no means need locals to be excluded from actions and alternatives.

As Husner stated, Myrtle Seaside motels aren’t alone in banning locals.

However that doesn’t put a number of inquiries to relaxation:

Why do motels and trip leases in Myrtle Seaside really feel a blanket ban on locals is the one resolution to dealing with the unhealthy friends drawback?

Resort events, prostitution and drug crimes exist in each metropolis. These cities cope with these points with out banning locals. Can’t Myrtle Seaside motels do the identical?

In actual fact, loads of folks come to Myrtle Seaside for the aim of partying.

It’s frequent, particularly through the spring, to run into teams of faculty college students partying in Myrtle Seaside for spring break or Greek life occasions. Why is partying seen as an solely native drawback?

“It actually annoyed me, the truth that they couldn’t even give … a purpose why,” Ward stated.

North Seaside supplied to attach him with one other resort that does permit locals.

However the expertise left Ward with laborious emotions.

“Figuring out their stance. I’d by no means keep there now. I simply don’t perceive why they’d resolve to arrange in a city, then don’t let folks reside in that very same city and use the amenities.”

Wikstrom stated she’s sees all of those questions, too.

Some motels get round these points by setting a minimal age for friends comparable to 25.

Different motels rent safety to handle loud rooms.

Most motels now additionally cost a safety deposit and require a bank card on file in case of injury to the room.

One rule that may assist sort out partying particularly: Some motels put restrictions on how late guests to motels who aren’t formally registered friends can keep. For guests who aren’t paying to remain, a resort or short-term rental may require them to go away by 9, 10 or 11 p.m.

“On the Higher Enterprise Bureau, we wish companies to be welcoming and clear and welcoming friends in,” Wikstrom stated. “For essentially the most half, a number of them do. However you do have a few of these motels and motels that say ‘no,’ and it’s very laborious for us as a result of they’ve made that call they usually’re not going to vary that call now.”

As of final Tuesday, Ward had but to resolve the place he deliberate to go for his weekend staycation along with his fiancée.

However until the state’s lodging legislation is modified, motels and trip leases can proceed to ban locals, whatever the anger and frustration it causes.

“It’s not honest,” Wikstrom stated. “Within the large scheme of issues, it’s their property, they usually can (ban locals) so long as it’s not a discriminatory factor. They will resolve who visits of their rooms and who doesn’t.”

Wikstrom stated she has confronted the ban as a would-be native visitor.

Her recommendation?

“Get your listing of locations that you simply want to keep after which begin calling them,” she stated.

Earlier than making an attempt to ebook, “discover out if they’ve that coverage or not. It’ll prevent a number of time and a number of vitality.”

This story was initially revealed February 28, 2022 5:00 AM.

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Profile Image of Chase Karacostas

Chase Karacostas writes about tourism in Myrtle Seaside and throughout South Carolina for McClatchy. He graduated from the College of Texas at Austin in 2020 with levels in Journalism and Political Communication. He started working for McClatchy in 2020 after rising up in Texas, the place he has bylines in three of the state’s largest print media shops in addition to the Texas Tribune overlaying state politics, the surroundings, housing and the LGBTQ+ neighborhood.

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