Miami bars may close earlier for spring break

Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber wants last call to be 2 a.m. instead of 5 a.m.

Miami's nightlife might end hours earlier during spring break in March, with South Beach businesses worrying about what the decision might mean for their establishments.

Continue Reading Below

Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber wants the last call for alcohol to be 2 a.m. at bars and restaurants in the South Beach entertainment district instead of 5 a.m.

DRINKING IN THE US HITS 30-YEAR HIGH — HERE’S HOW MUCH THE AVERAGE AMERICAN DRINKS

Gelber wants an earlier end to parties for 17 days beginning March 6, with hopes that it will lead to less violence, WSVN reports.

The proposal will come before the Miami Beach City Commission Wednesday for a preliminary vote. It could then be finalized at a Feb. 26 commission meeting.

Students on spring break use a funnel to drink beer March 14, 2007, on South Beach in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

"We've had serious problems during spring break," Gelber told WSVN. "It's a bad look for our city. We have to do something."

WHY MILLENNIALS ARE DRINKING LESS BEER AND SIPPING MORE WINE, SPIRITS

Drinking in America has been rising for the last 20 years and has reached a point where Americans are drinking more than they were when Prohibition was enacted, according to federal health statistics. Today, Americans drink about 2.3 gallons of alcohol per year.

"We're not New Orleans, and we're not Bourbon Street, and I don't think we should want to be." 

- Dan Gelber, mayor of Miami Beach

The proposal comes almost a year after the city took aggressive measures to curtail rowdy behavior on the beaches during the 2019 party season.

"If you look at the images from last year, if you look at the fact that we had [to] send police in what appeared to be riot gear onto beaches and streets, that's just not who we are," Gelber said.

GET FOX BUSINESS ON THE GO BY CLICKING HERE

Some residents and business owners, however, fear this is a direct hit to the city's economy.

"The message to the world is: Miami Beach is closed for business," Ceci Velasco, who represents dozens of hotels and restaurants, told WSVN. "Why penalize the customer base that is the backbone of the Miami Beach economy because of people in the street that aren't spending money with us?"

There is already an 8 p.m. last call for the purchase of beer and wine at supermarkets or convenience stores and spirits at liquor stores near the entertainment district.

The Associated Press and FOX Business' Ann Schmidt contributed to this report.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON FOX BUSINESS