Miami Booze Ban on Back Burner for Now
Earlier this week, The Miami Herald reported that the city's attorney, Jose Smith, determined that oceanfront hotels serving pina coladas and rum and cokes and other alcoholic beverages on the beach was illegal, which sent the popular watering holes into a panic.
"Imagine South Beach hotels like the Ritz-Carlton not being able to serve their guests drinks on the beach," groused one regular beach imbiber.
Smith said his office was "bombarded" by complaints of loud parties and littering, especially during spring break, and, he said, since it's illegal to sell alcoholic beverages in public places, he was surprised that the offending beach-front hotels hadn't been cited.
AOL Travel reported that David Kelsey, president of the South Beach Hotel and Restaurant Association said that big name hotels like Loews, the Ritz-Carlton and Delano have been serving their guests on the beach forever and "it's never been an issue."
The ban looked like it would seriously crimp business on this busy Memorial Day Weekend until a last minute reprieve by the city.
USA Travel Today, quoting an update from the Miami Herald, noted that the ban, which would have cost the city and the hotels big bucks, has been postponed "until the city council delivers a formal legal opinion."
Our sense is that this was a misguided effort that will simply cause the hotels to get permits to serve their guests liquor on the beaches. Doubtless this will result in a crackdown on the general public's drinking alcohol on the beach, forcing them to patronize the hotels, that will have the permits to serve them on the beach.
So for now the booze ban is on the back burner.
Should Miami ban booze on its beaches, especially those that attract families?