Girls Gone Mild

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In a doomed attempt to rebrand itself as something other than a good backdrop for wet T-shirt contests, Cancun is cracking down on this week's spring breakers. The Economist reports (sub. req.):

The city has launched a Civility Pact, a code of public behaviour intended to curb the excesses of the spring-breakers. The hoteliers hope that the code will be more rigorously enforced by the police than past such efforts. Undercover inspectors now patrol the more notorious bars and clubs for evidence of law-breaking. The aim, insists Mr Arroyo, is "not to ban spring-breakers, but to control them." …local businessmen hope that Cancun will once again be better known for sun and surf, rather than sex.

Havens of sin that have repented unsuccessfully include Las Vegas and Times Square.

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  1. When Daytona was THE Spring Break place, didn’t it have the reputation for the most debauchery?

    Then they cracked down, and it lost it’s place as the #1 Spring Break destination.

    Cancun should take a hint. Kids will just move to where they think the most T & A & beer is. So would I.

  2. Yes, I’ve never understood why many resort towns seem to not grasp that relatively simple concept.

  3. Ironchef is spot on. First Daytona cracked down, then Fort Lauderdale, now Cancun. They will just relocate, especially since they seemingly have lots of $$ to spend on travel. When I was in college, I was lucky to have bus fare to get home for break.

    Next big spring break destination..in several years..Cuba?? I look for lots of changes once Castro finally kicks it. The future Key West-Havana ferry will make getting there cheap and easy, and lots of rum will flow.

  4. Thank God for New Orleans!

  5. The article (I thought) made it clear that the motivation for the change is financial. They don’t care that the spring-breakers go away and they’ll lose them. The problem is that they lose more revenue from other types of travelers not going to Cancun than they gain from the spring-breakers being there. Makes sense as a business decision.

  6. rshea got it exactly right. families with lots of disposable cash or Yuppies looking to disconnect would likely go to Cancun during that period were it not for the college kids and both would be infinitely more preferable.
    The thing about Las Vegas is that it really never had all that much to offer families. Sinning was the whole point of going.

  7. It’s a risky assumption on their part that driving out some college tourism will bring in a higher class of tourist.

  8. It’s a risky assumption on their part that driving out some college tourism will bring in a higher class of tourist.

    it is, mr david — but then risk is what business is about. and cancun, it must be said, offers some of the most spectacular diving and snorkeling in the world — and chichen itza as well. it was big long before spring break was.

  9. Wait, so you’re telling me that during 2-3 weeks at the tail end of the tourist season, when the city is packed to the gills with kids spending their trust funds with reckless abandon, that they’re actually losing money because regular tourists aren’t going?

    I call bull. I simply don’t believe that.

  10. Stretch–

    It’s not just the lost tourism. Spring Breakers generally wreak a great deal of property damage as well. A big part of the reason they stopped going to Ft Lauderdale is because the local hotels started requiring large damage deposits–up front–at certain times of the year. Even if you eventually get the students to cough up the damages, lots of rooms are out of commission for repairs afterward. At some point, the general nuisance and extra effort involved becomes as much of a factor as economic considerations.

    Anyway, I doubt these rules mean the end of Cancun as a spring break destination. Anyplace where you can buy (and drink) beer on the bus from the airport to hotel is going to remain popular.

  11. First the morality cops came for Cancun, and I said nothing because I’ve never been there.

    Then they went after Texas cheerleaders, and I said nothing because I’ve never lived there.

    Who will be left to speak up for my entertainments when they demand that Jennifer Garner’s character not wear revealing outfits?

  12. Stretch, it’s not about the two weeks of Spring Break, but about the overall image the name of the city produces in the mind of a possible visitor.

    Quick, Stretch, what’s Daytona Beach like? What pops into your head when you hear that name?

  13. Chuck, that makes a lot more sense.

    Joe, I know several middle aged couples who went to Cancun in the past few years. Not a single one mentioned anything about it being a “spring break” destination. I don’t associate it with college kids at all. I certainly don’t associate Ft. Lauderdale with them. That place sucks most of the time. Same goes for Daytona. I’m sorry, maybe I’m odd, but I don’t tend to think of any beach destination in those terms. During Spring Break, they’re all like that, though obviously not to the extent of the major places.

    I mean Clearwater is associated with both spring break and spring training. Does that mean that only drunken college baseball fans visit the place? Do they have some sort of pot-smoking/steroid-using image problem?

  14. I don’t have a problem with this. I can get drunk and stoned whenever I want, and it’s not dependent on locale. If this was done at the behest of local businesses, then I can understand why the city felt the need to take action. Tax revenues, I’m sure, will not suffer, and ultimately, that’s what local governments care about the most.

  15. I bet the hotels are just tired of shitheads acting like Keith Moon.

  16. I bet the hotels are just tired of shitheads acting like Keith Moon.

    Simple enough to cure. Require a damage deposit. If they check out with a manager inspection, they get the deposit back immediately. Heck, the hotel could demand your return plane ticket as the deposit. That ought to ensure a little bit of respect for other people’s property.

  17. At least Vegas realized they screwed up and launched the “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” ad campaign. I still intend to make it to Cancun before I turn 30.

  18. Stretch-the last time I was on Clearwater beach was some years ago. I took some visiting relatives from the west out to see the sights and soak up some April sun. They got to see the sights! Some were quite interesting in t-backs.Others reminded me of hippos necked hippos except for the band-aid. Put it on! put it on!

    Understand that t-backs are banned on the beach now.damn shame. Better looking girls than the local titty bars and only cost was the parking.

  19. If Ft. Lauderdale is any indication, Cancun will do just fine. Spring Breakers stay 8 or more to a room, dine on Cheetos, delivery pizza and cheap beer, break things and scare away the more lucrative-per-person family vacationers, boaters, retirees and so on. The transition had its ups and downs, but the beach is a good place to do business these days.

    (When I think of Daytona I think of dilapdated beach hotels, lots of crappy places to eat, and hordes of bikers driving the yuppies away, but despite their appearance, at least bikers tend to have a more money to spend per hotel room than Spring Breakers. His-‘n’-hers $25,000-plus motorcycles and the matching accessories don’t grow on trees.)

  20. On March 18, 2005 sometime in the very early hour morning my daughter’s boyfriend was found washed ashore the beach in Cancun, the authorities are saying that it was an “accident”, the three friends that he was with are telling a very different story, he was not swimming after midnight on the 17th fully clothed with his ID on him. The Mexican authorities are not providing any details that would be helpful. I encourage all student visitors to use extreme caution – it is not home.

  21. Wow, Kate. That is truly horrible. Terribly sorry to hear that. If you are up to it, what was the story his three friends gave you? My sympathies, and thanks for the general warning.

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