Alcohol ban and parking fees returning to Gulf Shores beaches -

Alcohol ban and parking fees returning to Gulf Shores beaches

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Spring break is almost here and our area beaches are getting ready.  With the change in the seasons, there are also some changes coming to Gulf Shores’ beaches.

The unseasonably warm weather has made the last couple of weeks feel like beach weather.  With spring break starting for some schools next week, the hope is that this warmer weather continues.  There will be no social media blitz as in years past, but Gulf Shores’ officials want to remind visitors and residents alike that its spring break alcohol ban goes back into effect this Saturday, March 3, 2018.

“That’s in response to making it a more family-friendly environment for our spring break families to come to the beach and enjoy themselves and not have unfortunately, the activities…the alcohol consumption on the beach became a problem,” explained Grant Brown with the city of Gulf Shores.

This will be the third year Gulf Shores has banned alcohol on the beach during spring break and this year’s ban will run through April eighth.  The goal is to make the city more attractive to families and less attractive to the college party crowd.  So far, locals said they’ve noticed a difference.

“You know, it seems like we’re a lot busier.  The city’s a lot busier,” said Jennifer Shattuck.  “You know, we’ve seen a ton more families.”

Another seasonal change that starts Thursday, March 1, 2018, is paid parking.  Public parking on the south side of the beach highway will cost five dollars.  That will stay in effect until November 30, 2018.  Chuck Moran stopped for a visit but wasn’t sure about parking until he checked the sign.

“Yeah, I guess I’m one of the last ones to take advantage of it because it changes, when, Thursday,” Moran said.

Lifeguards are also busy getting all of their equipment and first aid gear in order.  They will be back on duty in a limited capacity starting this weekend with two stands at Gulf Place and one at West Pass.  Lifeguards on UTVs will patrol other areas.  

The no-alcohol ordinance applies to all beaches within the incorporated area of Gulf Shores…about eight miles.  If caught with alcohol, it could cost you.  City officials said the maximum penalty is a $500 dollar fine and up to six months in jail.

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