Travel Archive

Dancers and Golfers Coming to Myrtle Beach

While South Carolina revenue of 2008 might not reach the same levels as in previous years, certainly our travel and leisure industries have out-performed other sectors because tourism is such a large part of the state’s economy. The people who come here at the Horizon at 77th come to visit our beautiful coastline, to have fun, see sights, meet others, and generally hang out somewhere that either. However, these people actually have come to renew their own spirits, to relax and have fun. Certainly, budgeting is a factor while we are in lean times, but even with tight budgets with travelers looking for ways to scale back on their spending, they still plan trips, still feel a strong desire to get out of town, see the beach, and pay for things that will help them relax.The beach is the big draw because it brings a sense of comfort. According to experts, people value happiness over money. They spend when they feel that their return on investment is greater than the dollars spent, and here at the beach they feel they can connect with something bigger than themselves or their problems. The vastness of the sand, the wide watery horizon, the motion of the waves, the ebb of the tide, the forces of nature are all mesmerizing, soothing, and relaxing. Agonies of spending money are off-set when visitors find something they are passionate about, something they crave and strive for, something that is part of themselves.People also crave connection. When they travel, they want to be a part of the places and people they visit, so they talk to locals, share stories, pair up with strangers on golf courses, and launch a conversation with neighbors in an audience or restaurant. Shaggers (Shag is a southern American dance), for example, frequently attend shag fests in North Myrtle Beach. They have less concern for the “money” aspect of the trip than for the assurance of being part of the bigger picture – the shagger picture. Many of the other shaggers are people they have known for years but only see annually. Shaggers also talk with locals, meet new people, share their stories and experiences, and generally put something of themselves back into the place they visit. In the end when they leave, they have then become a part of the place, the people, the culture, the experience. They leave feeling that they gained much more than they spent from their visit.Whether the travelers’ interests lie in shagging or golf or just going to farmers’ markets to talk with the vendors, they absorb local culture and fine points; they connect with the local populace. By coming here to our area, they bring something of themselves, and we, in turn, connect with these visitors. In doing so, we locals gain a richness of our own experience from listening to these vacationers, watching how they do things, gaining from the association of someone of a different place. Both locals and visitors contribute something to each other, either by sharing a joke, cheering someone up, passing along information. For example, when a guest tells the front desk clerk at Horizon at 77th that he and his family enjoyed their vacation there, giving examples of helpful service or comfortable accommodations, the guest is enriching that clerk’s spirit and contributing in even a small way to that overall environment. In turn, South Carolinians’ famous smiles and hospitality adds quite a bit to a stay for an out-of-town visitor, whose very presence brings so much more to a vacation destination than just economic gain. Both the traveler and the community end up the richer for having had that experience.We locals are proud of our beautiful area and welcoming spirit, but we are especially proud that we share our guests’ enthusiasm. While measurable economic growth is unquestionably the life-blood of such a destination as ours, we know there is much more. Human enrichment by having shared with these visitors is incalculable, and along the Grand Strand we are blessed with such treasures.