Miami Beach (CBSMIAMI)— The City of Miami Beach is passing new rules and amping up enforcement in an effort to curb disruptive spring break crowds.
"We're not Bourbon Street on the ocean," says Mayor Dan Gelber. "We're open for anyone, not just a spring break group."
He hopes to create a more family-friendly destination by providing music, wellness and food experiences at Lummus Park through, what they're calling, "Miami Beach Live!"
"There will be a very, very augmented police presence," he says. "There are going to be cops everywhere, not just from here, but from the county. There will be code enforcement officers."
From March 3rd to the 29th, the following regulations go into effect:
- No alcohol on public beaches.
- No live or amplified music, except for city-approved events.
- No coolers, inflatable devices, tents, tables on public beaches.
- Limited car traffic.
Starting March 7th to the 21st, the sale of alcohol stops at 2:00 a.m.
"We're internationally famous for nightlife," says David Wallack, owner of Mango's Tropical Cafe, which usually does not close until 5:00 a.m.
"It's not about the lost revenue from 2:00 to 5:00. That's a small part of it," he says. "You lose the entire peak of the night. Once people know they can stay until 2 a.m. and that word gets out, they're not going to come at 11:00 and 11:30."
He agrees with the increased law enforcement measures, but does not believe people causing scenes in the street had anything to do with business hours.
"It was also born out of $50 hotel nights, with eight people in a room, and $49 dollar air fares," he says.
At least one early spring breaker says he is glad he came to town when he did.
"I mean, we got to experience all of that," says Thayne Benoit, who is in town from Pennsylvania. "If I was coming down next week, I would probably be a little disappointed."
The rules apply to, what the city calls, the "high impact zone." They are defining that area as 5th Street to the south, 16th Street to the north, Pennsylvania Avenue to the west, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east along with public beach areas.
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