MIAMI (CBS4) – The Memorial Day holiday weekend means a business boom for many South Florida restaurants, businesses and hotels.
Packed with partygoers, Miami Beach has become a Memorial Day playground for nearly a quarter of a million visitors from all over who come to town for the Urban Beach weekend.
“Ya’ll keep it hot out here, ya’ll have good drinks and music in the clubs, I just love it out here,” said Rashawna Farnas who was in South Florida with her friends for a good time.
And they were ready to spend.
“We are ready to spend the money, money is not an option, we saved up for this weekend,” said Farnas.
Some visitors said drink prices have been bumped up and the only option is to pay up.
“When you on vacation got to pay a little extra for that got to put in the budget,” said tourist Fred Turner.
“It is ridiculous because we come out here, we want to party but 50 dollars for this is ridiculous,” said tourist Brittany Butler as she lifted up a drink.
At $300 to $500 for a room on the beach, hotels are cashing in. The Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau expects hotel room occupancy to hit 77 percent – more than last year.
To control the crowd of spenders, the city rolls out one and a half million dollars to cover the cost of police protection, traffic control and everything else it takes to make sure the weekend runs smoothly.
And so far so good.
Miami beach police have made about 235 arrests since Thursday– almost the same as last year– which apparently isn’t so bad.
“So far it’s calmer than last year we haven’t had any major incidents,” said Miami Beach police spokesman Bobby Hernandez.
But for some businesses the crowds don’t necessarily translate into success.
Some business owners say the barricades and overwhelming police presence are driving potential customers away.
At CJ’s Crab Shack they’ve lost an estimated $70,000 in revenue this weekend.
“They are blocking access to your restaurant, this is all blocked off people can’t walk through here,” said CJ’s Crab Shack’s CJ Lingenfelser.