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Some Myrtle Beach business owners are upset with drop in biker income

http://66.225.205.104/LM20090519.mp3

If you've ever vacationed in Myrtle Beach in the late spring you're no doubt familiar with the numerous motorcycle rallies. Many business owners and tourists have complained about bikers. In response, Myrtle Beach passed ordinances to run them out of town. Now, some business owners are upset because they don't have that biker income. George Trakas, Jr. is the owner of the Aquarius Motel. Last year he says all 123 of his rooms were rented out. This past weekend bikers only occupied six rooms. To say Trakas is unhappy with Myrtle Beach's mayor and City Council would be an understatement. "The City of Myrtle Beach has subjected us to the most horrific tyranny since Sherman's March. They have basically destroyed tourism down here," say Trakas. "They started out by encouraging the shaggers to leave. Then they ran off the Shriners. Next, the Sun Fun Weekend parade was dismantled and now the bikers have been harassed to the point of taking their business elsewhere. And there's even talk of infringing on the rights of high school seniors." Trakas says he'll be helping with a campaign to unseat Myrtle Beach's Mayor John Rhodes and city council members in November. The city's Sun News reports protests by business owners began Sunday evening, the last day of the Harley-Davidson Cruisin' the Coast spring rally. City Councilwoman Susan Means says she's received a lot of calls from business owners who are both upset and pleased that there aren't many bikers in town. "I think this business will be replaced. We'll go back to May the way it used to be years ago when we had mostly families on weekends and all other types of business," says Means. The city council voted last year to raise property taxes to make up for revenue the city could lose by keeping the rallies out of town.