Party at Padre No More?
Fri, 14 Mar 2014 01:16:14 GMT —
"There's a lot of people here from the UME concert because there's no Coca-Cola Beach this year, I'm kind of bummed about that," said Cole Freeman, a South Padre Island spring breaker from Arlington.
It's the first time in years Coca-Cola Beach is not part of the festivities during Spring Break on the Island. The hot spot, usually set-up behind Isla Grand Resort, drew-up to 25,000 sun-and-fun seeking college students, per day, in the past.
"Why is it not here?" Houston student Penelope Nunnally asked when she found out Thursday that Coca-Cola Beach is not on the Island. "I was looking forward to it and everyone - I always see pictures from Coca-Cola Beach."
Some Island business owners and promoters tell Action 4 News this may be one of the reasons why it seems this year the number of spring breakers has dropped drastically.
Paul Magee, UME concert promoter, said he wants to continue bringing the techno-music event back to the Island, but he wants to see more college students come for Spring Break.
He adds the only way to get them back to "Padre," is by offering more entertainment.
In 2012, Dallas spring breaker Derek Madrigal was stabbed nine times and nearly died at Coca-Cola Beach.
About a dozen Mexican Mafia gang members have been sentenced or charged for their role in the attack.
Madrigal is also suing Coca-Cola Beach for punitive damages.
SPI Mayor Robert Pinkerton said the attack on the spring breaker has nothing to do with Coca-Cola Beach leaving the island.
"I spoke to the head office in Atlanta and they said (they) are no longer doing those types of promotions, (and are) going to move towards conservation issues," Pinkerton said.
The mayor believes it's been another factor in keeping the hoards of college students from the Island this year.
"I think the weather is to blame a lot, I mean they just haven't been out."
Another concern is that law and code enforcement has been too tough on spring breakers and now students are afraid to vacation here.
"If any of the kids think they're going to just run totally wild, and think they're not going to have any guidance or any safety personnel around, well they're mistaken," Pinkerton said. "They might as well go somewhere else, because we're going to have law-enforcement."
Pinkerton said it's only those who break the law - no matter how minute - that will get in trouble.
"Anything that (authorities) do is for the benefit and for the safety of the kids."
A business owner himself, the mayor recognizes the different atmosphere on the Island this year, but said they just have to adapt.