Why are inns, Airbnbs so high-priced in Myrtle Seaside, SC?

Resort selling prices in Myrtle Beach front have skyrocketed this summer time, significantly surpassing their lows for 2020 and even making pre-pandemic premiums glance like a cheap offer.

For a great deal of July, the common each day level for a hotel room in the Grand Strand — $235-$260 — is anywhere from 15% to 30% greater than 2019, just before the pandemic, and up to 70% higher than 2020, in accordance to information from the Myrtle Beach Region Chamber of Commerce and Coastal Carolina University.

The better charge of resort rooms in Myrtle Seaside in comparison to previous decades strikes at one of the region’s most pleasing characteristics for vacationers — affordability.

The average everyday rate for a resort place the 7 days ending in July 24 was $257, 67% larger than 2020 and 29% bigger than 2019. The significant rates arrive as Myrtle Beach front resort occupancy has stayed in the vicinity of 85% — just brief of what tourism leaders usually consider to be “full occupancy” — for a lot of June and July.

“The days of rock-bottom rates are gone,” Myrtle Seaside Hospitality Affiliation CEO Stephen Greene stated. “Everything in relation to vacation is better than it was when we were going as a result of the pandemic, and I imagine it has to be. That was so lower that we have been owning a difficult time, you know, holding the doorways open.”

Holiday vacation rentals, like Airbnb, in Myrtle Beach are a lot more high-priced than motels ideal now: averaging $336 for each night for the week of July 18-24, in accordance to the chamber. But house rentals, on ordinary, have three instances as several bedrooms as inns, according to CCU’s information.

The expense of non-hotel holiday rentals has stayed to some degree static in comparison to 2020, when premiums went up sharply in the area as Airbnbs and other rentals gained level of popularity due to the fact people today sought to steer clear of lodge crowds throughout the pandemic. Comparable data for 2019 is not obtainable.

What is driving up resort selling prices?

Greene claimed the large cost of resorts right now is one more symptom of inflation throughout the American economic system.

A single of the biggest variables driving the price tag increases in Myrtle Seashore has been the increasing cost of labor.

Hospitality companies for months have struggled to use — and keep on to — adequate workers to preserve their companies working. Dining establishments have had to leave tables vacant, lots of resorts have only rented out 80-90% of their rooms, and stores and support organizations have experienced to reduce their hrs or times open to avoid personnel burnout.

That battle to find more than enough labor has led businesses to give bigger and greater wages or signal-on bonuses in the hope of attracting new workers and finding them to continue to be. The cost of these wages is then handed onto consumers in the form of costlier stays.

Not only has labor enhanced the base price tag of functioning a hotel, but some locations have had to offer with source difficulties as perfectly.

Myrtle Beach Town Council member Jackie Hatley, who owns the Sea Dip Motel & Condos, stated she’s struggled to find adequate towels and linens for her rooms. Not only is there a lack of the linens by themselves, but she reported her cleaning assistance has had to cost more since the cost of cleaning provides has gone up as well. Right now, she only has about 85-90% of her rooms readily available on weekends due to the fact she’s however quick quite a few housekeeping, maintenance and front desk staff members.

“The demand is really significant, but we really do not have our total source on the net,” claimed Greene, of the Hospitality Association. “When you go to your favourite cafe, you’re heading to see traces wrapped close to the setting up, but you’re (also) likely to see sections that are however blocked off because we really do not have staffing.”

Hatley reported the problems she’s dealing with are business-vast, and she does not think they will amount out until eventually upcoming calendar year. As for labor lack difficulties, Hatley that is a more existential difficulty that will not be solved anytime shortly.

“In the up coming two to three years, the hospitality business as a entire, nationally, is going to have a obstacle with getting equipped to recruit,” Hatley mentioned. “We’ve been looking at it appear, but it is seriously in this article now, and we’re likely to have to get inventive. … What the response is to that, I’m not precisely absolutely sure.”

Doug OFlaherty, the vice president of operations for the S.C. Restaurant and Lodging Association, explained lodge rates have been capturing up across the state and are not automatically unique to Myrtle Seaside.

Looking further than labor and provide difficulties, OFlaherty explained the pent-up demand to travel following a lot more than a year of pandemic lockdowns has pushed up selling prices. Some lodges, he stated, may also be charging better prices to recoup final year’s losses, but most of the charges are going toward masking those amplified foundation prices.

Nonetheless, OFlaherty stated he was continue to stunned to see how considerably inns have been charging in current weeks. He echoed a sentiment being expressed by a lot of tourism authorities: Few envisioned holiday vacation travel to occur back again as speedily or intensely as it has this spring and summertime.

“I am getting a prolonged weekend myself and likely out of city, and I was flabbergasted at the lodge price ranges. I was just like, ‘Wow.’ I did not comprehend that resort rates were being going to be as pricey as they were being,” OFlaherty reported.

Creating Myrtle Seaside less inexpensive?

Greene, Hatley and OFlaherty stated that though enhanced demand and soaring labor and supply costs are earning hotels more pricey in Myrtle Beach, that does not automatically imply the area is turning into considerably less very affordable.

“Everything is ticked up bigger,” Eco-friendly reported. “But I think that people can even now find that affordable aspect of it. We’re not looking at any dips in occupancy.”

In other phrases, he reported, greater hotel premiums are not driving absent buyers.

If nearly anything, resort occupancy has truly risen at the same time that the ordinary everyday level for a space has gone up.

Affordability in Myrtle Beach has prolonged been measured as a comparison to other places, OFlaherty said. So prolonged as Myrtle Seaside stays expense as a lot or fewer than related locations, it will go on to attract travelers searching for a “cheap getaway.”

“Myrtle Beach can continue to be an very affordable desired destination with premiums that are listed here currently due to the fact their rivals are charging the very same charges,” OFlaherty explained.

Having said that, even if items like the charge of linens go again down in 2022, or labor turns into more affordable, OFlaherty explained it is not likely hotels will decreased their premiums.

Some motels might try out to push demand from customers with decrease charges in the course of slower seasons but certainly not through the spring or summer months next calendar year. OFlaherty likened it to the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline. When gasoline has grow to be substantially a lot more out there due to the fact the pipeline arrived back on in Might, companies have not lowered the cost of gasoline — or pumped much more oil — mainly because they know persons will pay back a all those increased selling prices.

“That pipeline is managing like it is hardly ever run in advance of. But have the selling prices going down? No, not at all. Why? Because we received applied to it,” OFlaherty explained. “The resort industry is no diverse.”

Chase Karacostas writes about tourism in Myrtle Beach front and across South Carolina for McClatchy. He graduated from the College of Texas at Austin in 2020 with degrees in Journalism and Political Conversation. He started operating for McClatchy in 2020 immediately after escalating up in Texas, wherever he has bylines in three of the state’s most significant print media outlets as properly as the Texas Tribune masking point out politics, the natural environment, housing and the LGBTQ+ community.