TYBEE ISLAND, GA (WTOC) - Tybee Island City Council has gone back on its decision to 'not' ban alcohol for specific dates this year.
Those dates include two weekends in April: April 13-15 and 20-22. Last year around the same dates, the city of Tybee did have an alcohol ban on the public consumption of alcohol and having open containers in public areas or on public property, excluding permitted sidewalk cafes.
The city previously stated it would not ban alcohol this year, but ultimately decided it would have a ban during certain times. We spoke to the city manager who says council came up with the decision to choose certain dates by looking at Georgia colleges as a whole and when spring breakers normally head to the beach - for safety reasons and to cut down on underage drinking. The decision is getting mixed reaction from business owners.
"It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that, unfortunately, there's some activity that's not really in the best interest of both the community and the people who come, so I think that was their intention," said Keith Gay, Tybee Beach Vacation Rentals, Owner. I don't think the intention was to create any hardship for a certain group or anything like that, and if it's a group with young people who get out of control, and particularly do this on the beaches. I think that the intention the city council had was to create an environment of safety."
The weekends when the ban will be in effect include the infamous Orange Crush spring break celebration.
"We feel basically like this is a propaganda and fake news way to deter the crowd, but the reality is, the crowd will not be deterred," said an Orange Crush promoter.
Some business owners say they even shut down for some of those spring break dates because it is just out of control when alcohol is involved.
"It helps regulate and control the crowds, so I wish they just did it for the whole month," said Kristopher Tucker, Tybee Island.
Orange Crush promoters say this isn't the welcome they were expecting.
"You can't have everything so particular for one specific group and one specific day and one specific event, like that's discrimination."
We've reached out to the city and will be speaking to the mayor at a later date about how they chose to ban alcohol on certain dates.