S.C. tourism awaits surplus checks

This spring was soft for much of the tourism industry in Myrtle Beach, and businesses are nervous about the upcoming summer.

With gas prices already high and climbing, and low consumer confidence, tourism businesses are hanging their hopes on the possibility that consumers will do what the experts predict - spend their rebate checks from this year's economic stimulus package on a last-minute vacation.

"We're hoping that's the case," said Ferrell Schmidt, owner of the Carnival Motor Inn on 25th Avenue North in Myrtle Beach. "We're hoping that as people start to see the checks ... they'll look at that as windfall money. The vacation they may not have taken may come about at that point."