Spring Break

Jennie McKeon / WUWF

If you’re thinking of heading to Navarre Beach despite its closure — don’t. 

Since Santa Rosa County Commissioners made the decision to close Navarre Beach last Friday, the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office has been monitoring the area, including a checkpoint where all vehicles on Gulf Boulevard must provide a valid reason for driving through. 

“We have four deputies out there 24/7 until we’re relieved,” explained Sgt. Rich Aloy. “Our goal is to make it clear that the beaches are closed.” 

Amid concerns about the coronavirus and its future in Florida, tourism officials remain optimistic about the upcoming tourist season.

There are no plans to cancel any events at Pensacola Beach, including the popular Bands on the Beach outdoor concert series, which kicks off April 7. As part of the local caution, Visit Pensacola’s Nicole Stacey says they’re in touch with all local hospitals and agencies on pretty much a daily basis.

bbb.org

With spring break in full swing, now is the ideal time for scammers to bring back a long-standing bogus emergency – the “Grandparent Scam.”

Basically, the scam is when somebody who could possibly be a grandparent receives a phone call and are told that their grandson or granddaughter is in some kind of peril.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

Spring break along the Florida Panhandle’s sugar-white beaches is just around the corner, and the Santa Rosa Island Authority is out with some advice on how to make the visit a safe one.

Figures from Escambia County show 30,000 more visitors to Pensacola and Perdido Beaches last March than in March 2017, and the numbers are expected to be larger this time around. Paolo Ghio is Director of the Santa Rosa Island Authority, and says they’re ready after a busy off-season. 

File photo

Now that snowbirds are starting to head home, Destin is preparing for a new influx of visitors.

Spring breakers.

College students have made the Destin area their home during their break for some time. It’s easy to spot them on the beach with their school flags waving as they throw Frisbees back and forth and snap selfies. Most of them are drinking, but not all of them are the legal drinking age.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

Spring break season is underway at Pensacola Beach, and runs through mid-April for local schools, and until the end of April for others.

Allison Westmoreland is President of the Pensacola Beach Chamber of Commerce says local merchants are keeping their fingers crossed for that record crowd on beaches, and in stores and restaurants.

“A lot of the hotels are already booking up,” said Westmoreland. “Social media is huge right now, so even just sharing one event on social media gets 10,000 views. I think that’s going to attract a lot of people in as well.”

Extra Spring Break Security For Okaloosa County In 2016

Jan 7, 2016
Photo via Flickr// ** Parapluie ** / https://www.flickr.com/photos/restreguas/4509084689/

An interlocal agreement was made this week between the city of Destin and Okaloosa County to fund the sheriff office’s enhanced law enforcement plan for Spring Break 2016. WUWF’s Danielle Freeman reports, although the cost will be shared by both parties and the measure is just a contingency plan, the source of the funding is still uncertain.

Photo via Flickr// Doug Kerr / https://flic.kr/p/7gvw1E

If a number of factors fall into place, motorists could be enjoying another round of lower gas prices in time for summer vacations.

AAA South in Tampa says gas prices are falling at the rate of about $0.05 per week, on pace to be about $0.40 per gallon lower than right now. But Mark Jenkins at the Auto Club adds that there are no guarantees, with a lot of factors playing into fluctuations.

University of West Florida

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the start of spring break, the latest job growth and unemployment statistics, and “stress tests” for the nation’s biggest banks.

Across northwest Florida, Panama City has the strongest spring break season.

Even though students spending their spring break on area beaches this week have more fog than sun, Harper says economic indicators are pointing to a good spring break period across the board.

Photo via Flickr// GW Fins / https://flic.kr/p/bjEnQb

Depending on the school, spring break is either here or just around the corner. Many hitting the beach and other locales could end up victims of so-called “date rape” drugs or underage drinking.

Sneaking something into a drink is nothing new. “Mickey Finns” were around when our great-grandparents were spring breakers.  Denise Manassa, at the Community Drug and Alcohol Council in Pensacola, says these days date rape drugs are known as “roofies” and other names.

If gas prices are on the rise, we must be getting close to spring break. 

Lifeguards returned to the beaches of Santa Rosa Island and Perdido Key this weekend, and are preparing for spring breakers and the 2014 summer tourist season.