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Grand Strand Beach Tent Ordinances

Recent policy changes regarding tents and shading devices on the beaches along the Grand Strand have many confused and upset. We would like to offer some clarification about the ordinances and encourage our guests to continue to visit North Myrtle Beach.

Photos courtesy of NMB Beach Patrol

Photos courtesy of NMB Beach Patrol

North Myrtle Beach

North Myrtle Beach City Council voted to ban shading devices other than umbrellas along the beach from May 15 to September 15. The law defines a beach umbrella as “a collapsible circular shade…radiating from a central pole without grounding lines or ropes” (Section 5-24, B). Umbrellas may not exceed 7’6” in height and 9’ in diameter (Section 5-24, B). Violators may be charged up to $500.

The change to the ordinance was spurred by safety concerns. Many emergency response teams have noted an increased difficulty in locating victims in recent years due to an increase in tents along the beach.  The city’s Beach Services department will continue to rent beach chairs and umbrellas. Visitors are welcome to bring their own chairs and umbrellas.

Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach City Council voted to ban oceanfront business license holders from providing or renting beach chairs and umbrellas (Ordinance No. 2014-14). This change was enacted because an oceanfront hotel was offering guests complementary beach chairs and umbrellas.  If a business violates this ordinance, the business may lose their license.

Also, Myrtle Beach City Council recently passed the first reading of their own tent ban last week. Myrtle Beach’s ordinance would prohibit tents from Memorial Day to Labor Day. It needs an additional reading to become a law.

Horry County

The county council will meet April 1 to discuss creating an ordinance to ban the use of tents year-round. Myrtle Beach council members indicated to local news channel WPDE that Myrtle Beach would follow the decision made by the county.

Our recommendation

We understand that many of our guests need a place to shelter from the sun during their time with us at the beach.  We truly appreciate your business and we are grateful you choose to visit North Myrtle Beach. Your concerns are very real and we take them to heart. We want to ensure that your family is able to enjoy the same vacation you have come to look forward to each and every year.  Please know that we think of our guests any time changes like this are proposed.

If you feel that you cannot enjoy the beach without a tent, you may cancel your reservation per our cancellation policy. Otherwise, we recommend enjoying the beach in the morning or late afternoon hours when the sun is less intense. Stay on the beach for a couple of hours before heading back indoors for a snack or other activity. Consider wearing clothing with built-in sun protection, such as a fishing shirt, rash guard or hat. Always wear sunscreen and drink plenty of water.  And of course, you can still bring along a reliable umbrella and set up for the day!

We want you to enjoy your North Myrtle Beach vacation and hope you will return. If you have any questions about these ordinances, your upcoming vacation please give us a call at 800-525-0225 and we will be happy to assist you. We will continue to update you on changes to local policies that may affect your vacation. Thank you for visiting the Grand Strand and staying with Elliott Beach Rentals. We hope to see you again this summer.

Update (March 27, 2014): Myrtle Beach City Council voted on Tuesday, March 25 to ban tents on the beach from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Umbrellas less than 7.5′ in diameter are allowed. Horry County Council will discuss a county-wide ban at their meeting on April 1.

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