As has been the case in other communities that have enacted tent bans, there are strong opinions on both sides of the issue.
Local government officials certainly did not rush into this decision. Roughly five years ago, beach tents were not as prevalent along our shores as they are today. That has changed over these last few years, and there has been a noticeable increase in the use of beach tents across our 60 miles of coastline.
In North Myrtle Beach, tents will not be allowed from May 15 to Sept. 15. Myrtle Beach will not allow beach tents from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Beaches in Horry County will restrict the tents year-round.
We understand that tents are very convenient for beach-goers, particularly those with large families and those who can't run the risk of long-term sun exposure. However, this decision has been made to keep beachgoers safe while allowing emergency personnel the ability to navigate our beaches in case of an emergency. From a public safety standpoint, the ever-growing popularity of the beach tents in certain locations in the Myrtle Beach area makes it difficult for an EMS unit or other emergency responder to get through this line of tents to the beach and water in a timely manner. Fortunately, there have been no fatalities or serious injuries that have resulted in a delayed response time, but the delay has been there. And, it is only expected to grow.
This is a decision government officials certainly weren't thrilled to make. And we understand how this restriction could impact your comfort while on the beach. We hope all guests can find appropriate measures to protect themselves from the sun, and continue to enjoy their stay here in the Myrtle Beach area.
For additional information, please check with your hotel to find out whether their beach is within a city or county, so you will understand which rules affect you.