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Fort Lauderdale bracing for larger crowds as Miami Beach breaks up with Spring Break

Fort Lauderdale stepping up police visibilty, beach enforcement during Spring Break
Fort Lauderdale stepping up police visibilty, beach enforcement during Spring Break 02:18

FORT LAUDERDALE - With Miami Beach planning to break up with Spring Break, Fort Lauderdale is bracing for potentially larger crowds this year.

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis said he welcomes visitors to Fort Lauderdale all year round, but during Spring Break increased safety precautions will be taken.

"We want to make your Spring Break experience the best experience you've ever had. Why? Because we want you to come back next year," said Trantalis. 

On Friday, the city detailed its plans for Spring Break which included an increased law enforcement presence, stronger enforcement of beach policies, and more transportation options to keep people off the roads. There will also be a closer eye on code compliance for bars, businesses, and vacation rentals.

During the Spring Break period there are special restrictions; no alcohol on the general beach and no coolers.

"The only exception is small specific areas where our hotels are allowed to serve alcohol and you to stay in that designated area," said Fort Lauderdale Police Chief William Schultz. 

CBS News Miami's partner The Miami Herald reports that the city is looking to enact new parking rate hikes similar to what Miami Beach recently put in place. Parking fees could reach as high as $100 in city garages and lots along the beach starting next week and could last until the end of March. Drivers could also face an additional $125 violation fee if they don't move their car when the parking time expires.

While Miami Beach said it's essentially shutting down the party in their city, both Trantalis and Hollywood Mayor Josh Levy said they're not too worried about crowds moving north.

"We are more of a local beach destination, a lot of snowbirds and families. I don't see the spring breakers ever really thinking about Hollywood Beach as their spot, we're not a party beach," said Levy.

"We feel that crowd will probably migrate more toward other party areas in Miami, like Wynwood and so forth. I don't really see a lot of that coming up to Fort Lauderdale," said Trantalis.

Fort Lauderdale's commission has initially approved the higher parking rate hikes and is expected to give final approval at their next meeting on March 5th.

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