Remember, about 20 years ago, Ft Lauderdale decided it had enough of rowdy spring breakers pissing and hurling on the shrubbery and drunkenly plummeting off hotel balconies? And that the city would re-orient tool itself for “upscale European cultural tourists” instead?
That was before the local economy went into the toilet along with the Breakers’ upchucked entrails. Now hear this:
“Stimulus 101: South Florida businesses welcome spring breakers,” says the front page headline, and the story recounts happy bartenders, restaurateurs, and hotel management. As if anybody ever doubted it, it’s all about the money, and always was. Of course, it will be again. Too bad Broward’s own government is so out of synch with its own economic engine:
This year, Broward wants to tamp down any notion that a weak travel market has made breakers welcome. The county’s tourism bureau three weeks ago issued a statement declaring: ‘Bad Economy or Not, Greater Fort Lauderdale Steadfastly Says ‘No Thanks’ to Spring Break.”
But as hotels throughout the region cut prices to fill beds, spring breakers find it easier to land a cheap room. At South Beach’s Cavalier Hotel, rates are down 40 percent from February to about $99 a night. ”We’re sold out,” said owner Ralph Abravaya.
Meanwhile, on the other side of town, an enterprising local has lived the life of his “Will Kill For Beer” tee shirt:
A fight over beer led a man to beat his 46-year-old girlfriend to death in downtown Fort Lauderdale, according to an arrest report released Thursday.
Robert Conde, 41, was arrested about 9:15 a.m. Wednesday, shortly after Ruth Ann Trueblood’s bloody body was found in the 600 block of Southwest First Avenue. According to the report, Conde told detectives in a recorded interview that he and Trueblood had been drinking beer behind a law office when she told him he could not have any more.
That made Conde angry, and he attacked her as she lay on her back. According to the report, Conde admitted to punching her “several times in the face.”
After he realized Trueblood was dead, Conde said he pulled off her pants and tried unsuccessfully to have sex with her. He then covered her with a blanket and lay down next to her. That’s where Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue found him when they arrived at the scene about 8:30 a.m. Miami Hurled
Go with the Gusto, Robert. For the locals, every day is Spring Break.