There are some travelers that nobody wants to host any more. That includes college students on Spring Break. MSNBC had a story today about the success the city of Fort Lauderdale has had in banishing these rowdy kids from their city.
“No U.S. community has worked harder than Fort Lauderdale to shun spring breakers. The South Florida city — where the annual beach exodus was born in 1935, boosted by the 1960 film “Where the Boys Are” and bumped to new heights by MTV — suddenly choked off the chugathon 22 years ago. Now, Fort Lauderdale even teaches other resort towns how to get out of that boozy money pool.
“We’ve had a countywide facelift and a countywide lobotomy,” said Nicki Grossman, president and CEO of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We congratulate ourselves. At the time, though, there was this collective holding of breath before we really knew we were on the path to graduating from spring break.”
The crackdown began in 1985 after 380,000 students swarmed into Fort Lauderdale, crammed into $19-a-night motels, gorged themselves on free Budweiser and shimmied in wet T-shirts. MTV’s cameras captured — and fueled — much of the mayhem. Never mind that the kids also spent $110 million. City fathers decided it had to end: The security costs, traffic and noise caused a massive community hangover.
“It was too big, too raunchy and too hard to recover from,” Grossman said. “When the kids left that year, nobody wanted to step into those rooms.”