Why are hotels, Airbnbs so expensive in Myrtle Beach, SC?

Resort rates in Myrtle Seaside have skyrocketed this summer, much surpassing their lows for 2020 and even making pre-pandemic prices seem like a cheap offer.

For much of July, the ordinary day by day amount for a lodge space in the Grand Strand — $235-$260 — is any where from 15{46006172ad4c53c7af3511c591ddf19e8ffdb2623a08a9c64bbeefa9e4f54948} to 30{46006172ad4c53c7af3511c591ddf19e8ffdb2623a08a9c64bbeefa9e4f54948} larger than 2019, before the pandemic, and up to 70{46006172ad4c53c7af3511c591ddf19e8ffdb2623a08a9c64bbeefa9e4f54948} larger than 2020, according to facts from the Myrtle Seashore Location Chamber of Commerce and Coastal Carolina College.

The increased price tag of lodge rooms in Myrtle Seaside in comparison to previous decades strikes at 1 of the region’s most appealing traits for vacationers — affordability.

The normal everyday fee for a hotel area the 7 days ending in July 24 was $257, 67{46006172ad4c53c7af3511c591ddf19e8ffdb2623a08a9c64bbeefa9e4f54948} bigger than 2020 and 29{46006172ad4c53c7af3511c591ddf19e8ffdb2623a08a9c64bbeefa9e4f54948} better than 2019. The large rates appear as Myrtle Seashore resort occupancy has stayed near 85{46006172ad4c53c7af3511c591ddf19e8ffdb2623a08a9c64bbeefa9e4f54948} — just brief of what tourism leaders normally think about to be “full occupancy” — for substantially of June and July.

“The times of rock-base prices are long gone,” Myrtle Beach front Hospitality Affiliation CEO Stephen Greene stated. “Everything in relation to vacation is better than it was when we were being going through the pandemic, and I think it has to be. That was so lower that we ended up obtaining a challenging time, you know, keeping the doors open.”

Getaway rentals, like Airbnb, in Myrtle Beach front are additional highly-priced than motels proper now: averaging $336 for each night for the 7 days of July 18-24, according to the chamber. But property rentals, on typical, have a few occasions as many bedrooms as hotels, according to CCU’s info.

The value of non-resort getaway rentals has stayed rather static compared to 2020, when rates went up sharply in the region as Airbnbs and other rentals obtained attractiveness because folks sought to steer clear of hotel crowds all through the pandemic. Comparable information for 2019 is not available.

What’s driving up hotel rates?

Greene claimed the significant charge of inns proper now is a different symptom of inflation across the American overall economy.

One particular of the biggest components driving the price tag raises in Myrtle Beach has been the climbing expense of labor.

Hospitality firms for months have struggled to retain the services of — and hold on to — sufficient workers to retain their enterprises functioning. Dining places have had to leave tables vacant, quite a few lodges have only rented out 80-90{46006172ad4c53c7af3511c591ddf19e8ffdb2623a08a9c64bbeefa9e4f54948} of their rooms, and outlets and support firms have had to decrease their several hours or days open to prevent employee burnout.

That wrestle to come across ample labor has led businesses to provide larger and greater wages or sign-on bonuses in the hope of attracting new workers and getting them to keep. The cost of individuals wages is then passed on to clients in the variety of costlier stays.

Not only has labor enhanced the base charge of jogging a resort, but some locations have experienced to deal with supply challenges as nicely.

Myrtle Seaside Town Council member Jackie Hatley, who owns the Sea Dip Motel & Condos, claimed she’s struggled to uncover sufficient towels and linens for her rooms. Not only is there a scarcity of the linens themselves, but she stated her cleaning service has experienced to charge a lot more simply because the price tag of cleansing provides has absent up as very well. Correct now, she only has about 85-90{46006172ad4c53c7af3511c591ddf19e8ffdb2623a08a9c64bbeefa9e4f54948} of her rooms readily available on weekends because she’s nevertheless shorter many housekeeping, maintenance and entrance desk staff members.

“The demand is quite substantial, but we never have our complete provide on line,” stated Greene, of the Hospitality Association. “When you go to your preferred cafe, you’re going to see strains wrapped about the building, but you are (also) likely to see sections that are even now blocked off due to the fact we never have staffing.”

Hatley explained the issues she’s struggling with are market-large, and she does not feel they will amount out until eventually future 12 months. As for labor lack difficulties, Hatley which is a a lot more existential challenge that will not be solved anytime before long.

“In the following two to 3 decades, the hospitality sector as a full, nationally, is likely to have a challenge with getting equipped to recruit,” Hatley explained. “We’ve been viewing it appear, but it’s genuinely listed here now, and we’re heading to have to get creative. … What the answer is to that, I’m not just guaranteed.”

Doug OFlaherty, the vice president of functions for the S.C. Cafe and Lodging Association, said hotel fees have been taking pictures up across the state and aren’t automatically one of a kind to Myrtle Seashore.

Looking further than labor and source problems, OFlaherty mentioned the pent-up demand to journey right after additional than a year of pandemic lockdowns has driven up rates. Some resorts, he reported, may possibly also be charging increased rates to recoup very last year’s losses, but most of the charges are heading toward covering all those improved base expenses.

Nonetheless, OFlaherty stated he was even now stunned to see how a great deal accommodations ended up charging in the latest months. He echoed a sentiment currently being expressed by several tourism professionals: Couple expected trip vacation to occur back as swiftly or intensely as it has this spring and summer season.

“I am using a extended weekend myself and likely out of city, and I was flabbergasted at the lodge charges. I was just like, ‘Wow.’ I didn’t recognize that resort prices ended up heading to be as pricey as they were being,” OFlaherty said.

Earning Myrtle Seaside fewer cost-effective?

Greene, Hatley and OFlaherty said that whilst increased demand from customers and growing labor and provide expenses are building hotels more pricey in Myrtle Beach, that doesn’t essentially suggest the location is getting to be significantly less inexpensive.

“Everything is ticked up increased,” Green said. “But I consider that people can continue to discover that cost-effective facet of it. We’re not viewing any dips in occupancy.”

In other words and phrases, he mentioned, higher lodge fees are not driving absent customers.

If something, hotel occupancy has basically risen at the similar time that the ordinary day-to-day rate for a place has absent up.

Affordability in Myrtle Seaside has extensive been measured as a comparison to other places, OFlaherty reported. So lengthy as Myrtle Beach stays cost as considerably or a lot less than identical places, it will proceed to attract travelers hunting for a “cheap getaway.”

“Myrtle Beach front can keep on being an inexpensive location with premiums that are listed here currently for the reason that their competition are charging the exact same prices,” OFlaherty stated.

Even so, even if things like the cost of linens go back down in 2022, or labor gets to be more cost-effective, OFlaherty claimed it’s not likely hotels will lessen their charges.

Some motels may well try out to drive demand with less
en fees in the course of slower seasons but absolutely not during the spring or summer season future 12 months. OFlaherty likened it to the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline. While gasoline has come to be substantially more obtainable considering that the pipeline arrived back on in Might, providers have not lowered the selling price of gasoline — or pumped much more oil — simply because they know folks will pay a all those greater prices.

“That pipeline is managing like it is under no circumstances run before. But have the selling prices likely down? No, not at all. Why? Due to the fact we got used to it,” OFlaherty claimed. “The hotel industry is no distinct.”

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Chase Karacostas writes about tourism in Myrtle Seaside and throughout South Carolina for McClatchy. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2020 with degrees in Journalism and Political Conversation. He started doing the job for McClatchy in 2020 right after rising up in Texas, the place he has bylines in three of the state’s biggest print media stores as properly as the Texas Tribune masking condition politics, the surroundings, housing and the LGBTQ+ local community.