Fort Lauderdale may lift booze ban on sand for hotel guests

FORT LAUDERDALE — For practically 4 many years, Fort Lauderdale has experienced a ban on booze at the seashore — the sandy part, in any case. But there is now talk of permitting liquor income on the sand calendar year-round.

Not absolutely everyone would by permitted to sip cocktails by the sea.

To indulge your guilty pleasure, you’d need to have to be a hotel visitor or lease a beach front lounge chair.

Accommodations by yourself — no bars, no dining establishments — would be authorized to sell all those chardonnays and pina coladas, from Bahia Mar south of Las Olas all the way to Sunrise Boulevard. Consumers would also be ready to purchase foodstuff from the resort menu and have it shipped immediately to their lounge chair.

Lodges alongside A1A are pushing the program, but some locals think it is a undesirable idea.

“Most individuals will not drink just one consume — they’ll consume two, 3 or four,” claimed Warren Sackler, a resident who life a block from the seashore. “There’s definitely going to be more drama if you permit individuals consume on the beach front. The law enforcement really don’t like babysitting and they are heading to have to offer with this.”

When on a time, for the duration of the raunchy heydays of Spring Break, Fort Lauderdale allowed the sale of booze on the beach front.

That finished 37 several years in the past, when town leaders banned alcoholic drinks on the beach front, hoping to entice a a lot more very well-heeled clientele.

Right now, fines variety from $50 (for 1st-time offenders) to $500 (for repeat offenders) if you get caught with a chilly just one on the sand.

Motels along the strip are gung-ho about the concept of providing liquor to visitors whilst they bury their toes in the sand for one particular explanation: It is great for business.

Currently being served next to the surf is basically something today’s advanced traveler has come to count on, reported Tamas Vago, common supervisor of the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Seaside Vacation resort.

“Many visitors truly feel that’s aspect of the vacation resort practical experience,” Vago explained. “In the past 15 years, Fort Lauderdale has long gone from a Spring Split spot to a environment-course spot. We have higher-conclusion, five-star lodges likely up on the beach front. We are attracting a bigger caliber visitor who wants that encounter. In hospitality we generally try to fulfill our guests’ requirements, simply because we want them to arrive back again.”

Some properly-traveled visitors have been shocked to find out they just cannot order a chilled glass of wine on the seaside, mentioned Mazen Saleh, normal manager of the Four Seasons Resort and Residences.

“Staying at a 5-star vacation resort home, they’ll say, ‘What do you imply I just can’t get a salad on the beach? What do you mean I can’t get pleasure from a glass of wine if I’m sitting down on the seashore?’” he reported.

Previous Mayor Jim Naugle suggests Fort Lauderdale experienced excellent cause to ban booze on the beach back again in 1985.

“There was a great deal of underage drinking and rowdiness,” he mentioned. “There ended up beer cans and litter all more than the beach front. But occasions alter. We don’t have Spring Crack anymore, not like it was in the 1980s. The rooms are substantial priced now. It is not like Panama Metropolis.”

The plan would probably get underway later on this calendar year, but only if it will get a nod from city leaders.

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

Beachfront motels would have to get a permit from the metropolis before they could serve customers on the sand. Provider would possible be constrained to particular hrs, say from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Mayor Dean Trantalis and all 4 commissioners embraced the thought all through a Metropolis Hall assembly in early July, indicating it would assist Fort Lauderdale resorts contend in a challenging market.

“I feel our competitiveness occurs to be beach locations in other nations around the world that do present very similar providers,” Trantalis reported. “When people today come to journey right here from Turkey or Greece or Italy and Spain that have these amenities, I imagine a large amount of people look at that knowledge to our expertise.”

But the mayor built it crystal clear he does not want to see individuals strolling down the beach front with their foods and drinks.

“The alcoholic beverages and meals has to be consumed at that chair,” Trantalis said. “If you want to choose your filthy martini to the shoreline, you cannot.”

That one particular rule is small consolation to close by residents who have arrive up with a lengthy checklist of downsides to letting booze on the seaside, explained Invoice Brown, president of the Central Seaside Alliance community affiliation.

Inquire what could potentially go completely wrong and they’ll inform you.

“I really do not have any professionals,” claimed seaside resident Paula Yukna. “I have a complete ton of cons. Allowing for alcoholic beverages on the seaside is heading to provide a lot of troubles. Who’s heading to examine ID? What if they buy alcohol and hand it out to their 16-12 months-outdated pals? Who is going to prevent men and women from receiving up and strolling down the beach front? If they drink much too a lot and go in the ocean, the lifeguards will be accountable for conserving them.”

Serving people on the seashore will also deliver much more litter, Brown stated. Far more litter indicates additional rats — and more pigeons and seagulls swooping down for scraps.

Then there is the challenge of fairness.

“You’re telling me I simply cannot convey my cooler [of beer] to the seaside when the man upcoming to me is acquiring served just since he’s at a resort?” Brown mentioned. “What about the places to eat and bars? Why aren’t they authorized to serve?”

Excellent issue, claimed Peter Ricci, hospitality software director at Florida Atlantic University.

“The idea in thought is excellent,” he reported. “It’s a great issue for the economic system and the readers. But I believe it is a tiny short-sighted to only include the inns. I think it is a minimal unfair and biased.”

As a previous common supervisor for accommodations in Sarasota, Clearwater and Jacksonville, Ricci remembers company being served meals and drinks on the sand.

“Every town I worked in permitted beverages at the seashore,” Ricci explained. “I constantly assumed Fort Lauderdale was far too rigid.”

Tim Petrillo, owner of the well-known Casablanca Cafe, says not all dining establishments have the staff members to take care of additional company on the seaside.

“I do not know how the other [bars and restaurants] would sense,” he reported. “But I just cannot randomly assign a server to serve foodstuff and drinks around on the beach front.”

Petrillo, who also serves as chairman of the Broward County Tourism Coalition Council, says he understands the push by higher-stop resorts to be much more aggressive.

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“I do consider we have to have to have a aggressive industry for tourism,” he stated. “A ton of men and women acquire staycations. When you take a look at Fort Lauderdale, you expect to be in a position to buy a cocktail while you are gazing at the sea.”

Dan Lindblade, president of the Better Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce, suggests the time is appropriate to make a change.

“If you’re investing that much income on a lodge place, you’re anticipating the high-quality facilities of a luxury resort,” he explained. “You really don’t want to be tied to sitting up at the pool deck to purchase foodstuff and beverages.”

It is also shortly to say no matter whether bars and dining establishments ought to also be permitted to provide patrons on the sand, Lindblade reported.

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

“We presently have rats and litter,” he said. “The hotels are likely to be in cost of grooming their parts and cleansing up. These are all tempest-in-a-teapot eventualities. It is a big alter. Any time there is a adjust, there’s generally naysayers.”

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