Fort Lauderdale may lift booze ban on sand for hotel guests

Otto I. Eovaldi

FORT LAUDERDALE — For practically four a long time, Fort Lauderdale has had a ban on booze at the beach — the sandy area, anyway. But there is now communicate of making it possible for alcoholic beverages revenue on the sand calendar year-round.

Not everybody would by authorized to sip cocktails by the sea.

To indulge your guilty pleasure, you’d have to have to be a hotel guest or hire a seaside lounge chair.

Resorts by itself — no bars, no places to eat — would be allowed to provide all people chardonnays and pina coladas, from Bahia Mar south of Las Olas all the way to Sunrise Boulevard. Clients would also be able to order foodstuff from the hotel menu and have it sent immediately to their lounge chair.

Motels alongside A1A are pushing the approach, but some locals consider it is a undesirable strategy.

“Most folks will not drink just a person consume — they’ll drink two, three or 4,” claimed Warren Sackler, a resident who life a block from the seaside. “There’s absolutely going to be a lot more drama if you permit persons drink on the seaside. The police don’t like babysitting and they are going to have to offer with this.”

Once on a time, for the duration of the raunchy heydays of Spring Crack, Fort Lauderdale authorized the sale of booze on the seaside.

That finished 37 several years back, when town leaders banned alcoholic beverages on the seaside, hoping to attract a far more effectively-heeled clientele.

Currently, fines assortment from $50 (for initial-time offenders) to $500 (for repeat offenders) if you get caught with a cold one on the sand.

Hotels alongside the strip are gung-ho about the strategy of advertising liquor to company while they bury their toes in the sand for one rationale: It’s good for organization.

Staying served upcoming to the surf is basically one thing today’s refined traveler has arrive to anticipate, mentioned Tamas Vago, typical manager of the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach front Vacation resort.

“Many company really feel that’s element of the resort experience,” Vago mentioned. “In the earlier 15 years, Fort Lauderdale has gone from a Spring Crack spot to a globe-course spot. We have high-end, 5-star inns likely up on the beach front. We are attracting a larger caliber guest who wishes that knowledge. In hospitality we often test to satisfy our guests’ requires, simply because we want them to arrive back.”

Some perfectly-traveled attendees have been surprised to discover they just can’t buy a chilled glass of wine on the seaside, claimed Mazen Saleh, typical supervisor of the 4 Seasons Hotel and Residences.

“Staying at a 5-star vacation resort home, they’ll say, ‘What do you imply I can not get a salad on the seashore? What do you signify I can not delight in a glass of wine if I’m sitting on the beach?’” he stated.

Previous Mayor Jim Naugle states Fort Lauderdale had great cause to ban booze on the beach front back again in 1985.

“There was a lot of underage ingesting and rowdiness,” he mentioned. “There had been beer cans and litter all over the beach. But occasions modify. We really don’t have Spring Crack any more, not like it was in the 1980s. The rooms are superior priced now. It’s not like Panama City.”

The system would likely get underway later this 12 months, but only if it gets a nod from city leaders.

Commissioners are anticipated to vote on the proposal in mid-August, with a last vote set for September.

Beachfront resorts would
have to get a permit from the town in advance of they could serve buyers on the sand. Assistance would probable be constrained to selected hrs, say from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Mayor Dean Trantalis and all 4 commissioners embraced the notion through a Metropolis Corridor assembly in early July, saying it would enable Fort Lauderdale motels contend in a challenging industry.

“I imagine our level of competition comes about to be beaches in other countries that do offer identical solutions,” Trantalis mentioned. “When people today come to vacation listed here from Turkey or Greece or Italy and Spain that have these features, I feel a great deal of people examine that expertise to our knowledge.”

But the mayor created it clear he doesn’t want to see individuals strolling down the seaside with their foods and beverages.

“The liquor and food stuff has to be consumed at that chair,” Trantalis explained. “If you want to acquire your filthy martini to the shoreline, you just cannot.”

That just one rule is compact consolation to nearby inhabitants who have occur up with a long list of cons to making it possible for booze on the seaside, said Invoice Brown, president of the Central Seaside Alliance neighborhood association.

Question what could maybe go mistaken and they’ll notify you.

“I do not have any professionals,” mentioned seaside resident Paula Yukna. “I have a complete lot of negatives. Enabling alcoholic beverages on the seashore is going to carry a good deal of challenges. Who’s heading to verify ID? What if they order alcohol and hand it out to their 16-yr-outdated friends? Who is heading to cease persons from having up and strolling down the seashore? If they consume too substantially and go in the ocean, the lifeguards will be accountable for conserving them.”

Serving men and women on the beach front will also carry far more litter, Brown reported. Additional litter suggests additional rats — and much more pigeons and seagulls swooping down for scraps.

Then there’s the difficulty of fairness.

“You’re telling me I can not provide my cooler [of beer] to the seaside when the dude following to me is receiving served just since he’s at a hotel?” Brown stated. “What about the dining places and bars? Why are not they allowed to provide?”

Excellent problem, claimed Peter Ricci, hospitality program director at Florida Atlantic University.

“The concept in strategy is great,” he mentioned. “It’s a very good issue for the overall economy and the guests. But I think it is a very little shorter-sighted to only contain the inns. I assume it is a minor unfair and biased.”

As a previous standard manager for resorts in Sarasota, Clearwater and Jacksonville, Ricci remembers guests getting served food stuff and beverages on the sand.

“Every metropolis I worked in allowed drinks at the beach,” Ricci mentioned. “I normally assumed Fort Lauderdale was too rigorous.”

Tim Petrillo, owner of the popular Casablanca Cafe, claims not all eating places have the workers to handle more provider on the seaside.

“I really don’t know how the other [bars and restaurants] would feel,” he said. “But I cannot randomly assign a server to provide food and beverages more than on the seaside.”

Petrillo, who also serves as chairman of the Broward County Tourism Coalition Council, suggests he understands the press by superior-conclusion resorts to be additional competitive.

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“I do feel we need to have a aggressive current market for tourism,” he reported. “A whole lot of people take staycations. When you check out Fort Lauderdale, you hope to be in a position to order a cocktail though you are gazing at the sea.”

Dan Lindblade, president of the Larger Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce, says the time is proper to make a change.

“If you are expending that a great deal cash on a hotel home, you are expecting the wonderful amenities of a luxury vacation resort,” he stated. “You really don’t want to be tied to sitting down up at the pool deck to order meals and drinks.”

It’s too before long to say regardless of whether bars and dining places ne
ed to also be allowed to provide patrons on the sand, Lindblade reported.

As for the critics fretting in excess of rats, pigeons and litter, Lindblade waved away their objections.

“We now have rats and litter,” he said. “The lodges are likely to be in cost of grooming their regions and cleansing up. These are all tempest-in-a-teapot scenarios. It is a large transform. Any time there is a adjust, there is usually naysayers.”

Susannah Bryan can be achieved at [email protected] or on Twitter @Susannah_Bryan

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