MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Among the items that Miami Beach residents will be voting on Tuesday is whether to move the ‘last call for alcohol’ in the South Beach entertainment district up to 2 a.m. from the current 5 a.m.
For the last several weeks, there have been protests against the move. Bartenders, club owners, and hospitality workers want to keep the last call at 5 a.m., arguing that if it’s moved it will mean a loss of jobs and money.READ MORE: North Miami Beach PD Needs Help Locating 15-Year-old Jeimy Henrriquez
“I think the economic impact would be catastrophic,” said state Rep. Michael Grieco.
In a recent study released by the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce, an economist predicted a loss of at least $227 million a year if the last call was rolled back three hours to 2 a.m.READ MORE: Former US Rep. Carrie Meek Passes Away At 95
Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said closing bars and clubs at 2 a.m. is the solution to decreasing both property and violent crimes happening in the entertainment district.
“Over 20 percent of all the city’s crime comes from just a two-block radius,” explained Gelber. “Frankly, the idea that these businesses can’t survive unless they’re open all night is ridiculous.”MORE NEWS: Officer Injured, Suspect Dead Following Coral Gables Police-Involved Shooting
The mayor said residents have been avoiding parts of Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue worried about the violence happening there.