Saturday, January 20, 2007

Spring Break 2007 . . . A Winter Texan Looks Back





For over ten years, from our 12th floor condo, I have had a panoramic view of spring break. To the South my view includes, swimming pools, tennis courts and balconies of three other buildings in our complex. To the East, the beach . . . as spring breakers trudge with their kegs and set up camp. Looking North is the Radisson, Coke stage, the prime meeting space for all daytime activity. To the West, the view extends the length of the causeway and much of Padre Blvd.

Not only do I observe from the 12th floor, but every day in March I walk the area; early morning and in the afternoon at the peak of the Radisson activity. In the evening and often into the night I observe the cruising and often walk the Blvd. (See some of my yearly reports at; http://www.dad-cam.com/ )

Why do I do this? Because I enjoy it!

Now, many of my winter Texan friends (and my wife) think I'm crazy. I listen to them and I observe . . . and I keep coming back. So do more and more friends from the North.

As they begin to realize. the first two weeks of March are not much different than the last two weeks of February . . . except that often the weather is better. Those that have not left, play tennis, golf and hang out around the pool and often engage the kids in conversation. It's fun!

The first weekend of Texas week the tempo picks up and reaches a crescendo Friday, Saturday and Sunday night, but even those three nights, over the years, the activity has lessened. It's downhill from there and by the next Sunday the Coke Stage is quiet and another spring break is history.

I'm certainly no expert on SPI commerce, but I do know the kids pay big bucks to stay here, tote groceries and beer to their rooms and must be spending some money at the clubs, restaurants, bars and T-shirt shops.

And each year, from my perspective, the number of visitors decline.

It is my understanding (but I'm not sure) that local-Texas schools now have a different spring break than the colleges, accounting for the relative calm during the week. So it does come down to a couple of weekends - - and falling.

Maybe by shifting gears so dramatically for spring break we are chasing away the very best (in my opinion) clients that frequent the island.

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