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Some Myrtle Beach hotels welcome first guests following lifted coronavirus restrictions

Myrtle Beach hotels officially reopen
Myrtle Beach hotels officially reopen
Updated: May. 1, 2020 at 9:12 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Hotels across Myrtle Beach welcomed guests Friday for the first time in weeks, but it wasn’t back to business as usual.

Friday was day one of the 15-day soft opening phase for Myrtle Beach hotels. And it’s anything but business as usual.

Hotel managers and directors across the city said they are operating at extremely low occupancy.

Ray Harter, the regional executive director at the Dunes Village Resort, said they only checked in a handful of guests on Friday.

“It’s gonna be an acclimation period, right now it is indeed a soft opening, very soft, occupancy is very weak compared to previous times, last year and years before, but it gives us an opportunity to get all of our policies and procedures in place,” Harter said.

Harter added that they are making clear, from the minute guests walk in, they are strictly following the requirements from the city council when it comes to social distancing and sanitation levels.

Harter said when guests come, they’ll be asked if they are experiencing symptoms before they even come inside. He also said they installed plexiglass at the check-in counter, have a different cup for clean and dirty pens, and have social distance markers around the hotel.

He also said they made sure all access to the pool is blocked off.

Harter is worried, in the future, fewer people are going to be able to travel for financial reasons.

“Unfortunately that is the case, there are people who are out of work, who will continue to be out of work. Flipside is, I think there is a bit of pent up demand that’s going to be aimed towards us, so I think a lot of people are gonna come to Myrtle Beach, it’s a great place, a great family town," Harter said.

Amy Evankovich will come down to Myrtle Beach from the Midlands on Monday with her 16-year-old daughter. She said they come to Myrtle Beach frequently, and are worried about our economy without steady tourism.

She said even though some people are concerned that tourists are allowed to come, she is taking every precaution she can and is content with just sticking to the beach and their hotel room.

“I’m putting money back into the economy. People aren’t booking hotels right now. What’s going to happen to all these resorts?" said Evankovich. “I still want to put money back into the economy. I still want to spend what I normally do, it’s such a big discount, they’re not making what they normally do, they still need to make a living."

At this time, only people with existing reservations can stay until after May 15.

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