Business owners and residents of Miami Beach have grown tired of the unruly spring break crowds carousing in the city, with some describing the vacation hotspot as a crime zone.
Miami Beach officials have already enacted an 8 p.m. curfew, which has been extended until at least April 12, to curb the partying and unruly visitors. Police have been enforcing the order and breaking up large crowds.
But Mitch Novick, who has owned the Sherbrooke Hotel for over 21 years, told WFOR-TV that the “area has now become a crime zone” and refuses to reopen his business.
“This is a complete failure of our elected officials, Novick said, adding that he tells guests and former guests to find another destination other than Miami Beach. “This has become a carnival, like a circus on the street.”
Miami Beach Police have seized at least 102 firearms so far this spring break season, according to officials. Interim City Manager Raul Aguila, in a letter sent this week to Miami Beach’s mayor and City Commission, said there were 1,050 arrests between Feb. 3 and March 21 in addition to the gun seizures.
Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber appeared on FOX Business’ “Mornings with Maria” on Tuesday, saying that at night the small entertainment district in the area turned into what felt like a “rock concert” with a lot of people crowded together causing a “dangerous” situation.
He said that in the “constrained area” of Miami Beach there has been “gunplay” and open brawls.
Along with the 8 p.m. curfew, city officials closed causeways to incoming traffic beginning at 10 p.m., allowing only local traffic and hotel guests.
Romain Zago, the owner of Mynt Restaurant and Lounge, told WFOR that the curfews and road closures are only further hurting businesses and “is not the solution” to dealing with spring break crowds.
“Saturday night we lost half our reservations because they were stuck on the causeway,” Zago said. “It is not fair.”
To maintain control over the large crowds that have become violent, Miami Beach commissioners voted to empower the city manager to extend the curfew in the South Beach entertainment district until at least April 12.
Fox News’ Louis Casiano and Talia Kaplan contributed to this report.