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Miami Beach Voters To Decide On Roll Back Of 'Last Call'

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - Among the items that Miami Beach residents will be voting on Tuesday is whether to move the 'last call for alcohol' in the South Beach entertainment district up to 2 a.m. from the current 5 a.m.

For the last several weeks, there have been protests against the move. Bartenders, club owners, and hospitality workers want to keep the last call at 5 a.m., arguing that if it's moved it will mean a loss of jobs and money.

"I think the economic impact would be catastrophic," said state Rep. Michael Grieco.

In a recent study released by the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce, an economist predicted a loss of at least $227 million a year if the last call was rolled back three hours to 2 a.m.

Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said closing bars and clubs at 2 a.m. is the solution to decreasing both property and violent crimes happening in the entertainment district.

"Over 20 percent of all the city's crime comes from just a two-block radius," explained Gelber. "Frankly, the idea that these businesses can't survive unless they're open all night is ridiculous."

The mayor said residents have been avoiding parts of Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue worried about the violence happening there.

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