Grand Strand businesses preparing safety procedures ahead of bike rally

Myrtle Beach Bike Week

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) -The Fall Bike Rally kicks off along the Grand Strand next week but because of pandemic restrictions, some businesses won’t be participating in the bike festivities.

Others in the area said they’re prepared for the big event, adding they’re ready to enforce safety guidelines and keep their guests safe.

Jamin Leather in Myrtle Beach is one business heavily involved with promotions for bike week through special events, including a Poker Run on Sept. 30 to benefit ‘Full Throttle Biker Church Planting.’

Owner Jamin Jamie Keats said the company’s safety plan during fall bike week is nothing short from solid.

“My staff will be wearing masks while people [are] shopping,” said Keats. “We will be able to [provide] free masks so people can wear one. We’re also going to keep count of how many people come in and come out of the store.”

Harley Davidson will begin their Fall rally in Horry County Monday night, with a kickoff party outside of Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux in Myrtle Beach.

In order to comply with the required safety guidelines, the event will take place outside.

Staff at Walk-On’s said enforcing the governor’s safety procedures is nothing new since the restaurant is already required to. Employees added the safety plan won’t change on Monday, it’s just happening both inside and outside the restaurant walls.

Walk-On’s management also said the restaurant’s plan of action is to follow guidelines from the CDC and DHEC.

“Those scientists and doctors are telling us that face masks, hand sanitizing, social distancing, those things are going to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said Doug Hornsby, managing partner at Walk-On’s. “They’re the subject matter experts, we’re not, we just take their guidance and run with it the best we can.”

Staff members also said they will be wearing gloves and masks, and the restaurant will have hand sanitizing stations for guests. They’ll also be keeping outdoor seating options 6-feet apart. Some have expressed concerns about the biker event attracting big crowds to local businesses, making it difficult to social distance.

Some businesses have decided to not participate in the bike event, including the Rat Hole, citing reasons related to the pandemic. The company posted on social media earlier this month, stating “it’s not possible to operate under the conditions that have been imposed by the Governor for Fall Rally.”

The concerns surfaced after some people felt a popular bar business didn’t adhere to the social distancing guidelines during the Spring Bike Rally in July.

Sonny Copeland, an organizer for Myrtle Beach bike rally events, said the vendors and businesses he’s been talking with are fully capable of enforcing the guidelines for the fall bike rally.

Copeland said they deserve a chance to make a profit and survive just like other businesses.

“People come down to the rallies, they stay in motels, hotels, condos, that’s a benefit to the lodging community,” said Copeland. “People shop everywhere, [including] the restaurants, so places to eat [also] benefit. [The money] is not leaving the area so that’s a benefit to the local area having events.”

“The rallies help a lot of people, [it’s important] to maintain the rally and keep the tourism going,” said Keats. “We don’t want to scare them away because of a pandemic.”

The Fall rally kicks off Monday and wraps up a week later on Oct. 4.

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Source: WMBF News