Myrtle Beach Dries Out, Sun Shines For 2016 Atlantic Coast Exposition As Hurricane Matthew Dies Out

by Nick Montano and Tim Sanford
Posted On: 10/10/2016

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TAGS: vending, Myrtle Beach, Hurricane Matthew aftermath, Atlantic Coast Exposition, Beth Bowen, Embassy Suites Hotel Myrtle Beach, vending machine, vending trade show, North Carolina Vending Association, South Carolina Vending Association

MYRTLE BEACH, SC -- "The sun is out in Myrtle Beach, and it's time for our stars to shine too," according to Atlantic Coast Exposition convention director Beth Bowen. The event is set for Oct. 13-15, Thursday-Saturday, at the Embassy Suites Hotel here.

Hurricane Matthew, which prompted extensive evacuations along the nation's southeastern coasts, is weakening as it heads for the open sea. Myrtle Beach, which has had its share of tropical storm damage over the years, remains open for business in its wake. The state lifted its evacuation order for the Grand Strand on Monday morning, Oct. 10.

"The airport is operating 100%," Bowen reports. She added that, as of Monday morning, there were some road closures in both North and South Carolina, so it's advisable for showgoers to make sure their chosen route is clear. She recommends that smartphone users who have not already done so download the WAZE app from Google Play or Apple's App Store. WAZE is online at

Bowen adds that other useful resources are the Department of Transportation sites: (for South Carolina) (for North Carolina) (the site of television station WBTW News 13, which posts current information on local conditions).

ACE maintains a website at

This year's ACE has a new Hollywood theme, symbolized by a "Hollywood Squares" for registered operators attending the trade show. Eligible visitors will receive bingo-style cards, and exhibitors showing their wares in the left corridor and the satellite rooms adjoining Westminster Hall will stamp those cards. Diligent cardholders will be eligible for cash prizes. This year's climactic party, set for 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 14, also will feature a Hollywood theme and entertainment. As always, guests are invited (but not required) to dress in a style evocative of "Hollywood glam."

This year's ACE is the 61st in an unbroken series that began with a combined event staged by the newborn North Carolina Vending Association and South Carolina Automatic Merchandising Association (now South Carolina Vending Association). The early Carolinas Vending Conventions were held alternately in both states, settling in Myrtle Beach in the early 1970s. Almost half a century ago, the Automatic Vending Association of Virginia (now Virginia Automatic merchandising Association) came aboard as a cosponsor of the booming event, which became the Atlantic Coast Exposition.