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myrtlesquare

Recession and Depression of the Coastal Areas

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What are your opinions on if the following situation would occur, maybe within the next 20 years:

The coastal regions of South Carolina, especially Myrtle Beach and Charleston, fall into a recession because of lack of tourism. Myrtle Beach has almost nothing to back its economy up if tourism fails. Charleston is getting better, but something may happen to it.

What do you think would happen? How do you think we could prevent this? Both cities are at the peak right now. Tourists have the money to come and want to come. But, what if...

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What are your opinions on if the following situation would occur, maybe within the next 20 years:

The coastal regions of South Carolina, especially Myrtle Beach and Charleston, fall into a recession because of lack of tourism. Myrtle Beach has almost nothing to back its economy up if tourism fails. Charleston is getting better, but something may happen to it.

What do you think would happen? How do you think we could prevent this? Both cities are at the peak right now. Tourists have the money to come and want to come. But, what if...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I think they'd bring the rest of the state down with them. I can't even begin to imagine what would happen... I mean to imagine those areas without tourists...? Is it possible to even imagine? I can't.

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Which is why those areas need to work on diversifying their economies. Charleston is doing better in this regard than MB and HH, but it can still do much more.

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Which is why those areas need to work on diversifying their economies. Charleston is doing better in this regard than MB and HH, but it can still do much more.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

My sentiments exactly. Charleston has a lot more to work with for a diverse economy, but MB and HH have a dire need to diversify. MB would be a literal ghost town with many shops and stores closed. I think the new interstate they will build there can help link the city to prospective companies that would want to locate there, but if the recession happened now, I-73 could become a distant memory. As far as HH, it is starting to become a resort city which relies more on Savannah, so it would get hit hard, but it would depend on how Savannah holds up with the recession.

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As far as Charleston is concerned, my only fear is that with all of the proposed developments in Columbia and Greenville (most notably the research campus and ICAR, respectively), Charleston may get left in the dust if something isn't done to make sure the city isn't just fit for a pretty postcard.

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I can't imagine what would happen if tourism dropped for Myrtle Beach. A similar problem happened in Peoria, IL in the 1980's. The major company, Caterpillar, almost went bankrupt and almost half of the population left the city. When Caterpillar came back up, the major decided that Peoria needed to diversity the city's economics. This is why Peoria has two of the best hospitals in the US.

Myrtle Beach's government is too nearsighted to understand the effects of an economic decrease in tourism economy, probably because it's never happened.

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It has been said that when times are good, the poor head to Myrtle Beach for vacation as they have the money to do so. The well off go to more glamorous places. However when times are bad, the poor are gone and the well off go to Myrtle Beach to save money.

In other words, Myrtle Beach, unlike an economy based on tractor building, has a primary industry that will always do fairly well regardless of the economic state of the country. You might see a backing off of capital investment when times are bad, but the tourists are always going to head to Myrtle Beach.

I grew up in Myrtle Beach during the oil shocks and recessions of the 70s, and I never saw any of those summers where the place wasn't packed with tourists.

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I assume you're right. Peoria had no tourism (why would it?)

Tourism will probably always be the number one economy of the area. Most people in the county work in the service industry, except those working in Horry County Schools.

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AVX Ceramics used to employ a large number of locals. I'm not sure how they are doing now. There was a pretty good non-tourist employment base there when the MB Air Base was in operation but of course that is all gone now.

I think there is generally a good local economy there now because a lot of people there are not tourists anymore and they end up supporting themselves.

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^This is true. I believe the recent statistics show that Horry County has experienced that greatest amount of growth within the past few years. That's gotta mean something.

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Myrtle Beach is such an ingrained tradition in this state and in its visitors that it really has nothing to worry about.

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The fact that a tourist economy could exist based on a sub-regional market is true. But that would also be the difference between Tybee Island in GA & Myrtle Beach. They could exist, but not be a substantial ecnomic generator that could support the population that exists on SC's shores. It isn't good enough for the traditional market of SC & NC to vacation in Myrtle Beach, it depends on those Canadians & other northeasterners. For Charleston, it has an even greater need to appeal & attract national & international tourists. Again - the difference between a sub-regional market & a national market would mean a knock off chain of Joe's Crab Shack to a more respected gourmet one.

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  Again - the difference between a sub-regional market & a national market would mean a knock off chain of Joe's Crab Shack to a more respected gourmet one.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Your post doesn't make any sense to the topic at hand.

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...For Charleston, it has an even greater need to appeal & attract national & international tourists...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I would have to disagree with that statement. Charleston has just about the same strength with local and state visitors as MB does. However, Charleston does not rely solely or mainly on tourism to thrive economically. It has military, manufacturing, computer technology, and shipping to remain strong even if a recession hit the coastal region.

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Your post doesn't make any sense to the topic at hand.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Well then, why don't you ASK me to explain it to you. Because the concept that fewer people from further regions of the country not visiting Myrtle Beach due to a poor economy isn't that far off of an idea.

Otherwise, I always look forward to your wonderful manner of engaging in discourse.

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I would have to disagree with that statement. Charleston has just about the same strength with local and state visitors as MB does. However, Charleston does not rely solely or mainly on tourism to thrive economically. It has military, manufacturing, computer technology, and shipping to remain strong even if a recession hit the coastal region.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I absolutely agree with you, I didn't intend to suggest that Charleston was fully reliant on tourism. Though I understand I did come off sounding like I was - sorry. But tourism is a major component of Charleston's economy, as New Orleans or even New York City - & that while certain tourist markets can afford more flexibility, Charleston is a unique example in which the typical tourist that visits Charleston has a higher level of sophistication than Myrtle Beach & is more demanding on the quality of venues.

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I absolutely agree with you, I didn't intend to suggest that Charleston was fully reliant on tourism.  Though I understand I did come off sounding like I was - sorry.  But tourism is a major component of Charleston's economy, as New Orleans or even New York City - & that while certain tourist markets can afford more flexibility, Charleston is a unique example in which the typical tourist that visits Charleston has a higher level of sophistication than Myrtle Beach & is more demanding on the quality of venues.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I see what you're saying now, so I'm cool. I also agree with that last statement, because there is much truth in it. My hometown's version of tourism is on a different level than MB's, and I think that in itself can help reduce the sting of a recession.

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That's right on the money. I remember reading an article awhile back that stated Savannah has about half a million more visitors annually than Charleston does but people that visit Charleston spend more than 3 times as long here and in turn dump more money into the local economy. Historical Charleston would lose a lot if tourism were to drop but there is a huge base of people here that do not rely on tourism one bit and would not be phased. Sadly that would be a situation of the poor getting poorer. Most of the jobs associated with tourism are low-income. High-paying jobs around here are in the medical, industrial, engineering and high-tech/bio research and development.

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But couldn't that same logic be applied to Charleston?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

No. Its just not the same. People say "I'm going to the beach" and 90% of the time the mean Myrtle Beach. Charleston does not have that same pull. It is still a great palce to go, I'd go so far as to say its better than MB, but it is not as much of a 'tradition' for is visitors as MB.

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Here's the article: http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/mld/sunnews/13119091.htm

Here's a condensed version of it:

Growth in the U.S. travel industry will slow in the coming months and early next year as high heating bills combined with low consumer confidence make travelers pause, experts predicted Tuesday. How that will affect Grand Strand tourism isn't yet clear... Locals are watching but aren't ready to predict how 2006 will shape up for the Grand Strand. The $5 billion local tourism industry makes up a third of the state's tourism and employs seven of every 10 workers.

Myrtle Beach needs more visitors to match the growth in new lodging. New towers dot the skyline - the area's lodging can accommodate 20 million tourists - and the number of visitors has stayed steady at about 12.8 million. "Right now, there is still optimism that next year will be a solid year," said Brad Dean, president of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce. "There are some early warning signs out there that could impact tourism, particularly economic uncertainties. We are kind of watching and waiting."

Though gas prices have leveled off since September's post-Katrina peak, drivers still are spending more to fill their tanks. The prolonged effect of paying more for gas could show up when summer vacationers have fewer dollars to spend, said Gary Loftus, director of Coastal Carolina University's Center for Economic and Community Development.

"The overall impact of having to pay them for 12 months will curtail travel to some degree," he said.

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Tourism in Charleston is up this year(record numbers I think?) Also the state of SC had the highest growth rate in the country of tourism related jobs this year. Though we don't pay people that work in tourism related fields squat compared to our neighbors, so that kinda negates the economic benefit from the jobs but still shows that tourism here is doing well.

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