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‘A disaster’: South Beach businesses, tourists not happy with weekend curfew

By Bobeth Yates

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    MIAMI BEACH (WFOR) — Miami Beach’s temporary curfew ended Monday morning without any major incidents.

Miami Beach Police told CBS4 news since the spring break season began on February 18th they’ve made over 600 arrests, and they say more than half of those arrests were people who lived in South Florida.

Monday at 6 p.a. the curfew was lifted for the final day. There was initial talk among city commissioners about extending the curfew for another weekend, but as it stands last weekend was the only weekend of the curfew.

Many said it was unnecessary because the weekend of its implementation was the weekend of the Ultra Music Festival, one that is traditionally a lot less rowdy than other weekends.

“I lost a lot of money this weekend,” said Mitch Novick, the owner of Sherbrooke Hotel.

Novick said he’s not happy with the state of emergency that went into effect last Thursday and continued all weekend because of the cancellations and the lack of reservations resulting from the curfew.

“This weekend has been a disaster in terms of the negative impacts on those who live, those who operate businesses, and those who, unfortunately, made big vacation plans,” he said.

Tourists like Ashley Brown are among those who spent thousands of dollars on their spring break vacation, She said the midnight curfew drastically impacted their trip.

“Once we saw that the curfew was implemented we were kinda upset because everybody wants to be outside for a long time but they’re stopping business and stopping us from having fun, so were kinda upset,” said Brown and others in her group.

“I was kinda mad and said why am I going to go there, to spend money and waste my time when I can’t even be out past 12, having fun listening to music, enjoying meeting new people and stuff so what’s the point,” said tourist Nylah Christoper.

But tourists aren’t the only ones upset. Because of the curfew, stores had to stop selling alcohol at 6 p.m. and many of those stores said the financial loss was great.

“It has impacted a lot of our business, it definitely hit us really hard and we’re really mad, said Wilson Arevalo with Gulf Liquor.

Arevalo adds part of the anger is the unfair implementation of the policy.

“What’s the point of it when you’re shutting us down a liquor store, a family liquor store, all of us, and then you can go to a restaurant and drink as much as you want or you can go to downtown and then buy as much as you want,” said Arevalo.

Still, there are some that said they were okay with the curfew.

“I don’t have any problem with it, it’s a lot of stuff happening, it’s been crazy,” said one tourist.

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