2017-03-16 / Front Page

Spring Breakers arrive

Warming weather could bring thousands more
Zach Perkins
Reporter


Above: Spring Breakers amass in the area of Tony Amos City Beach on Saturday, March 11. Neither Saturday morning’s rain nor Sunday’s brisk winds were exactly conducive to partying, but the Breakers came out when they could. A warming weather trend could draw quite a few more revelers to the shore as the holiday continues this week. Inset: Spring Breakers practice a time-honored tradition: Cruising in the backs of pickup trucks and waving flags. 
Staff photos by Rachel Taylor Above: Spring Breakers amass in the area of Tony Amos City Beach on Saturday, March 11. Neither Saturday morning’s rain nor Sunday’s brisk winds were exactly conducive to partying, but the Breakers came out when they could. A warming weather trend could draw quite a few more revelers to the shore as the holiday continues this week. Inset: Spring Breakers practice a time-honored tradition: Cruising in the backs of pickup trucks and waving flags. Staff photos by Rachel Taylor The first part of Spring Break kicked off with some rain and cool temperatures, letting up just enough for a little sunshine to peek through in Port Aransas.

That was just the break Spring Breakers were waiting for.

Flocks of people with massive trucks, beaded necklaces and adult beverages began flooding Mustang Island and likely will continue to do so this week, with pleasant weather in the forecast.

The National Weather Service reports that the rest of the Spring Break holiday will hold up nicely, with an average high temperature of 74.6 and a low of 69. Mostly sunny skies are in the forecast.

“I have high expectations for a really strong Spring Break,” said Jeff Hentz, president and CEO of the Port Aransas Chamber of Commerce.

Most hotel properties in Port Aransas are full, a chamber survey showed, he said. But some folks were scared off by the uneven weather during the first weekend of the holiday, said Hentz.

That weather hurt local businesses as well.

Mike Hall, co-owner of Family Center IGA, said his store is down from last year’s sales, but he doesn’t attribute it all to the weather.

“Spring Break is more challenging now with all of the schools out in one week,” Hall said.

The holiday isn’t as big in Port Aransas as it was in the 1970s and 1980s, he said. That’s mainly because young folks these days have become more sophisticated in their Spring Break travels, he said. College students want to go on a cruise or skiing rather than go somewhere that they have been before, Hall said.


Creating a couch in the sand at the beach in Port Aransas on Saturday, March 11, are Spring Breakers Michael Buya, left, of Marble Falls, and Joseph Graham of San Antonio. In the background are Brandon Tenney and Amanda Day, both of San Antonio. 
Staff photo by Rachel Taylor Creating a couch in the sand at the beach in Port Aransas on Saturday, March 11, are Spring Breakers Michael Buya, left, of Marble Falls, and Joseph Graham of San Antonio. In the background are Brandon Tenney and Amanda Day, both of San Antonio. Staff photo by Rachel Taylor However, Hall did say that many still do come, and he expects a more crowded store during the second weekend.

With the nice weather expected, police will be busy, as they normally are during this time of year in Port Aransas. From Friday, March 10, to Sunday, March 12, the Port Aransas Police Department handed out seven public intoxication citations, two DWIs and 18 golf cart warnings or citations. Other law enforcement agencies also are writing tickets and making arrests in Port Aransas, but their Spring Break stats aren’t in yet.

Scott Burroughs, chief of the PAPD, said Saturday, March 11, and Sunday, March 12, were slower than the typical for police during the first weekend of Spring Break. Monday, March 13, was more of a normal Spring Break crowd for Port Aransas, he said.

Alcohol is prohibited on the beach between the hours of 6 p.m. and 7 a.m. during Spring Break, but the ban is enforced in a limited way, according to police. Officers normally don’t employ the ordinance except to get rowdy groups off the beach, Burroughs said.

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