One season may be over. But memories of spring break 2016 still haunt Gulf Shores beaches.
“It was crazier than usual.” Jan Hughey saw it all. “We saw lots of inappropriate behavior. We saw a lot of trash. Everything was nasty.”
The city will vote next week to ban alcohol again for the six weeks 2017 spring break season. “It’s not limited to any individual, any area,” says mayor Robert Craft. “It’s all of our beaches, within the city limits of gulf shores. You can’t drink. Nobody can.”
The most vocal folks are the ones that are for the alcohol ban but there are those who think that in the long run, it will hurt the city of Gulf Shores.
“We can all agree the dynamics have changed more than normal,” says Michelle Nelson with Meyer Realty. “The groups are getting much larger. Social media helps identify where they are so the parties on the beach become out of control.” That’s when it becomes a public safety concern. “There’s an issue that we need to deal with to protect the public and our visitors and that’s what they did.”
For Jan Hughey an alcohol ban will return the beaches to what she remembers as a child, a place she always wants to come back to. “We’ve come down here every spring break since I was a little girl and what we saw last spring break is not what we usually see.”
Opponents say it’s easier to ban alcohol than to plan for unruly spring breakers and there are alternatives the city is not willing to consider.