Monday, December 29, 2008

Greetings from Myrtle Beach 

A few observations while enjoying a few days off with my parents:
  1. This place is not immune to the economic downturn.  In this very planned community in the north end of Myrtle Beach (not quite into NMB), the number of unsold units must reach into the hundreds (there are easily a thousand units here.)  Two single-family structures, priced at $750k, stand at each end of a strip awaiting development, without any signs that there will be additional foundations laid.  The golf courses are rather scarcely populated, even with temperatures in the upper 70s yesterday.  The beach at 4pm was sparse.  We went to a nice fish house in Calabash, NC yesterday after church, and it was doing a good business with a lunch special of $5.95 (two types of seafood and chips or hush puppies -- btw, those are quite good!)  The night before at a cheap Mexican place, we had the restaurant to ourselves for 20 minutes.  There are bargains here for those with money to spend.
  2. There was crowding in the airports in MSP and ATL.  But that appears to be because airlines are aggressive in cutting flights.  The crew on my plane between the two airports had had to rest long enough to delay our flight 90 minutes -- and this two days after Christmas.  Family travel was still there.  A colleague flying from Asia earlier in the week said the plane was full of ex-pats flying home; they seem less bothered by the economic downturn.
  3. Gas prices at $1.50 is allowing many cars down here from the north.  My brother and sister each drove here with their families; the hybrid car made it here with four passengers for $50.  My brother's Impala made it for $65.  I suspect this area will do OK because East Coast vacationers will eschew Europe for these destinations.