August 2, 2021

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Miami Beach, Overwhelmed by Spring Break, Extends Emergency Curfew – The New York Times

2 min read

Ricky Arriola, another city commissioner, said at the group’s emergency meeting: “Shutting things down cannot be the way the city does business. It is embarrassing, and it just shows we don’t know what we’re doing.”

Mr. Arriola also said that the city should start planning for its next busy time. “We got caught flat-footed this spring break, and we’re going to walk right into the punch of Memorial Day weekend.”

Businesses about 30 miles north, in the city of Fort Lauderdale, are monitoring the developments in Miami Beach. “We’ve been watching it very closely,” Dan Lindblade, president and chief executive of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce, said on Sunday evening. “We’ll do everything we have to do to make sure we don’t have the same situation happen up here.”

Fort Lauderdale dealt with similar spring break problems in the 1980s and early ’90s, until the city and businesses decided to make some changes, he said. One major change: Hotels started charging more money for rooms. “We’re not catering to an under-$150-a-night” crowd, Mr. Lindblade said, adding, “We’re $300 to $500 a night, and that’s just a different crowd.”

The effect, Mr. Lindblade said, has been notable. “It’s a family-oriented atmosphere,” he said, “and that’s been great for our economy.”

Credit…Marco Bello/Reuters

Seemingly undeterred by the police presence on Sunday night in South Beach, two maskless men in their 20s, who were wearing board shorts and clutching hard seltzers, took turns snorting white lines from a postcard. Around the corner, a group of police officers stood calmly, talking with one another and shouting for people to go home.

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