Gov. Haley urges Atlantic Beach to cancel annual Bikefest

This July 2014 file photo shows South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley meeting with reporters in Atlantic Beach, S.C. Again in 2015, the governor has called on the town to end the Atlantic Beach Bikefest.

CONWAY, S.C. — Gov. Nikki Haley has told Atlantic Beach officials she will help the town boost its tourism throughout the year if they cancel the annual Memorial Day weekend Bikefest, an event that authorities say attracts crime.

Multiple news media outlets report that Haley was in Conway on Friday to talk about hurricane preparedness when she called for the cancellation of the motorcycle gathering.

Three people were killed in eight separate shootings during last year’s Bikefest. There were no fatalities at last week’s event, which saw triple the number of law enforcement agents, and arrests fell 26 percent compared to last year.

Haley says she has spoken to Atlantic Beach officials about how the town could stop relying on the event for the bulk of its tourism economy.