Booze Ban Bad for ‘Bama Business?

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SAL SBTRAFFIC PIC3In a recent special session, Gulf Shores voted to ban alcohol on beaches. The ban is effective immediately and lasts until April 17th. Many are worried the ban will stop Spring Breakers from heading down south, possibly hurting cities where the economy depends on Interstate travel.

Like the city of Greenville, where warmer weather means people start heading for sunny shores. I-65 runs right through the city, making many businesses dependent on travelers.

The locally owned restaurant, Bates House of Turkey, is one of them. Cashier Whitney Boswell has worked the register at Bates for years. She has seen her fair share of the summer crowds.

“It increases during the summer, yeah,” she said.

Boswell said the ban on alcohol did not stop or diminish her usual summer clientele, just changed them.

“It’s more like families, less teenagers,” she said. “Ever since they banned alcohol during spring break.”

SAL SBTRAFFIC PICA short walk away from Bates, The Roost gift shop has also been busy with summer visitors. Store manager Marylyn Grayson does not think the ban will stop bringing customers through her doors.

“Our business is more family oriented and we’ve been seeing there has been an increase in business,” Grayson said. “They eat and then they come visit us in the gift shop. So I don’t think it will.”

She believes people will still travel through Greenville and stop by to visit her store, regardless of alcohol bans.

“And I hope it doesn’t affect, all businesses in Greenville that they might be eating at,” she added. “Like the gas stations, fast foods. But I don’t think it’s affecting us. Well we have the prettiest beaches! So I hope the families don’t stop going!”

Panama City Beach passed an alcohol ban last year, and Orange Beach is considering adopting one as well. Anyone caught with alcohol on these beaches could face a fine of up to $500 or six months in jail.

Categories: South Alabama