June 9, 2023


Just Do Travel

Fort Lauderdale may lift booze ban on sand for hotel guests

FORT LAUDERDALE — For just about four a long time, Fort Lauderdale has had a ban on booze at the beach — the sandy area, anyway. But there is now speak of making it possible for alcohol gross sales on the sand calendar year-round.

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

To indulge your guilty enjoyment, you’d need to have to be a lodge guest or lease a beach front lounge chair.

Resorts on your own — no bars, no restaurants — would be authorized to provide all all those chardonnays and pina coladas, from Bahia Mar south of Las Olas all the way to Dawn Boulevard. Consumers would also be able to order foodstuff from the lodge menu and have it shipped immediately to their lounge chair.

Resorts along A1A are pushing the program, but some locals assume it’s a bad plan.

“Most men and women will not consume just a single drink — they’ll drink two, three or four,” claimed Warren Sackler, a resident who life a block from the seaside. “There’s surely likely to be much more drama if you allow folks consume on the seaside. The police do not like babysitting and they are going to have to deal with this.”

Once on a time, in the course of the raunchy heydays of Spring Split, Fort Lauderdale permitted the sale of booze on the beach front.

That finished 37 many years ago, when metropolis leaders banned alcoholic beverages on the beach front, hoping to draw in a more well-heeled clientele.

Right now, fines range from $50 (for very first-time offenders) to $500 (for repeat offenders) if you get caught with a cold a single on the sand.

Hotels along the strip are gung-ho about the idea of selling liquor to company even though they bury their toes in the sand for one particular purpose: It is superior for company.

Getting served future to the surf is only a little something today’s advanced traveler has appear to count on, stated Tamas Vago, general manager of the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach front Vacation resort.

“Many guests really feel which is part of the resort expertise,” Vago said. “In the previous 15 several years, Fort Lauderdale has long gone from a Spring Break vacation spot to a entire world-class place. We have superior-conclude, 5-star inns heading up on the seaside. We are attracting a bigger caliber guest who needs that encounter. In hospitality we normally attempt to satisfy our guests’ requires, for the reason that we want them to appear back again.”

Some very well-traveled attendees have been surprised to discover they cannot purchase a chilled glass of wine on the seashore, mentioned Mazen Saleh, common supervisor of the 4 Seasons Resort and Residences.

“Staying at a 5-star vacation resort property, they’ll say, ‘What do you suggest I cannot get a salad on the beach? What do you suggest I can’t take pleasure in a glass of wine if I’m sitting on the beach?’” he reported.

Previous Mayor Jim Naugle claims Fort Lauderdale experienced very good motive to ban booze on the beach back again in 1985.

“There was a great deal of underage drinking and rowdiness,” he reported. “There were being beer cans and litter all about the beach front. But instances improve. We really do not have Spring Break any more, not like it was in the 1980s. The rooms are substantial priced now. It is not like Panama Metropolis.”

The system would very likely get underway later this year, but only if it will get a nod from metropolis leaders.

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

Beachfront resorts would have to get a allow from the town right before they could provide customers on the sand. Assistance would most likely be constrained to specific hrs, say from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Mayor Dean Trantalis and all four commissioners embraced the plan throughout a Metropolis Corridor conference in early July, saying it would enable Fort Lauderdale lodges contend in a tricky industry.

“I consider our opposition comes about to be beach locations in other international locations that do supply comparable products and services,” Trantalis stated. “When people today arrive to travel here from Turkey or Greece or Italy and Spain that have these facilities, I consider a lot of persons review that encounter to our knowledge.”

But the mayor created it apparent he does not want to see individuals strolling down the beach with their foods and beverages.

“The alcoholic beverages and foodstuff has to be eaten at that chair,” Trantalis said. “If you want to get your soiled martini to the shoreline, you can not.”

That a single rule is smaller consolation to nearby inhabitants who have occur up with a prolonged listing of downsides to letting booze on the seaside, reported Invoice Brown, president of the Central Seashore Alliance community affiliation.

Question what could potentially go wrong and they’ll notify you.

“I really don’t have any professionals,” reported beach resident Paula Yukna. “I have a entire whole lot of drawbacks. Enabling alcohol on the seashore is heading to convey a ton of complications. Who’s likely to examine ID? What if they order alcohol and hand it out to their 16-calendar year-outdated buddies? Who is likely to prevent men and women from obtaining up and strolling down the beach? If they drink as well a lot and go in the ocean, the lifeguards will be liable for preserving them.”

Serving individuals on the beach front will also carry more litter, Brown explained. Much more litter implies a lot more rats — and extra pigeons and seagulls swooping down for scraps.

Then there’s the situation of fairness.

“You’re telling me I simply cannot deliver my cooler [of beer] to the beach when the guy subsequent to me is getting served just mainly because he’s at a resort?” Brown reported. “What about the restaurants and bars? Why are not they permitted to provide?”

Great dilemma, reported Peter Ricci, hospitality software director at Florida Atlantic University.

“The plan in idea is excellent,” he mentioned. “It’s a superior point for the financial system and the people. But I think it’s a little limited-sighted to only consist of the motels. I feel it’s a very little unfair and biased.”

As a former general supervisor for hotels in Sarasota, Clearwater and Jacksonville, Ricci recalls attendees being served food items and drinks on the sand.

“Every metropolis I labored in authorized beverages at the seaside,” Ricci said. “I constantly believed Fort Lauderdale was also rigid.”

Tim Petrillo, operator of the well-known Casablanca Cafe, states not all places to eat have the staff members to manage more service on the seashore.

“I really do not know how the other [bars and restaurants] would feel,” he reported. “But I just can’t randomly assign a server to serve food stuff and drinks around on the beach.”

Petrillo, who also serves as chairman of the Broward County Tourism Coalition Council, suggests he understands the thrust by large-finish resorts to be far more aggressive.

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“I do believe we need to have to have a competitive sector for tourism,” he stated. “A good deal of people acquire staycations. When you visit Fort Lauderdale, you be expecting to be able to order a cocktail although you are gazing at the sea.”

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

“If you’re spending that a lot dollars on a lodge place, you are anticipating the great amenities of a luxury vacation resort,” he stated. “You do not want to be tied to sitting up at the pool deck to buy food items and drinks.”

It’s way too quickly to say whether or not bars and dining establishments really should also be permitted to provide patrons on the sand, Lindblade claimed.

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

“We currently have rats and litter,” he claimed. “The motels are going to be in cost of grooming their parts and cleansing up. These are all tempest-in-a-teapot situations. It’s a major transform. Any time there’s a change, there is often naysayers.”

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