MIAMI – Nearly $227 million in liquor sales, an economist predicts that’s how much the City of Miami Beach will lose every year if bars and clubs begin closing at 2 a.m.
City leaders are pushing for the rollback, hoping it is a solution to the crime surrounding the late-night party scene.
People living on the beach want to see less crime, but they worry closing bars early might not resolve the underlying issue.
“South Beach was the place to be in the 90s but people just overextend themselves and it’s gotten crazy,” said Raul Abdala.
The Mayor of Miami Beach said the partying is spiraling out of control, leading to murders, shootings, and other violence.
“I mean..this is like. it’s happening every week. I mean enough is enough,” said Stephen Sawitz, owner of Joe’s Stone Crab.
Raul Abdala was born and raised in Miami, but said you won’t find him on Ocean Drive or Collins Ave.
“I completely understand why they are pushing to close at 2 am and then for the club-goers, the promoters, and the clubs themselves it’s tough,” he said.
Sawitz said it’s time for a change on the beach. He thinks businesses will have no trouble continuing to operate with fewer hours.
“We close our doors on the weekends at 11 pm. And we’ve managed to be in the business for 108 years,” Sawitz explains.
Others disagree and worry the city will lose money by closing early, without a resolution to the crime.
“I think it just sounds like control,” said Jorge Canela.
“If you’re going to pass an ordinance as a lawmaker, it oughta address the problem not nibble around the edges,” said Jerry Libbin, President and CEO of the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce.
To put things into perspective for you, while there will be a loss of profit in liquor sales, the Mayor of Miami Beach tells CBS4, on the other hand, he had to spend millions of dollars for extra policing because of the violence happening on the beach.