On South Padre Island, Texas Week is an annual event, coinciding with spring break – a few days when students from around the state descend on the beach for partying and fun in the sun. But during this year’s Texas Week, March 11-15, the hordes of partiers won’t include students from the University of Texas or Texas State.
Randy Smith is South Padre Island’s city manager, and its former police chief. He says the community is expecting UT and Texas State students to come during their spring break – the week after Texas Week.
“We believe in the end of the month, when we add it up, we will still have the same amount of visitors that we would have, even if we had a very strenuous, overwhelming Texas Week,” Smith says.
Smith says splitting spring break over multiple weeks could help balance the impact of crowds on the island’s small businesses.
“People are gonna come during spring break,” he says, “and planned, organized chaos is better than unplanned chaos.”
A few years ago, the City of South Padre Island passed an ordinance to regulate short-term rentals. Smith says the ordinance requires owners to respond to complaints about their property within 30 minutes.
“It’s these pop-up parties that we’re looking for,” Smith says. “They’ve damaged people’s properties, they’ve caused havoc in neighborhoods, and so … we’ve made a commitment to the residents of the island that we’re going to do our best.”
Written by Shelly Brisbin.