By RAY QUIROGA
Port Isabel-South Padre PRESS
Officials estimate that upwards of 25,000 vacationers descended on the Island this Spring Break, Texas Week crowds, however, are estimated to have been conservatively 75 percent of what they were a year ago, unofficially. And while the reason for the drop may never be fully known, a number of theories have emerged including the fact that other areas throughout the state have developed their own attractions during the week of Spring Break, such as the South-by-Southwest Festival in Austin.
“We seriously thought about staying in Austin,” said University of Texas – Austin student, Cory Anderson. “After all, we’re from there, and we could have saved a ton of money, by my estimation, but, in the end, we really needed to get away and get to a beach. We made the right decision. We had a blast.”
After a number of days of roaming the streets and beaches of South Padre during Texas week, the Press struggled to find a disappointed vacationer. “The UME concert was the best time,” Scott Jeffers of Oklahoma State said in reference to the sold-out techno concert hosted at Schlitterbahn Waterpark on Friday.
“I would like to see more events, besides UME, 2 Live Crew and Coca-Cola Beach,” said Victor Mason from the University of Houston. “Overall, though, I not only want to come back again, I want to live here,” he added.
James Hollander out of Missouri said that area prices were a bit higher than he thought they would be but overall he had a positive experience on the Island. “I felt very safe. We drove here with friends and my girlfriend and the police presence made us feel safer.”
With no reported deaths this year, the only major “disturbance” took place Saturday evening when South Padre Island police made five arrests in a beach disturbance in the vicinity of Coca-Cola Beach, which was closed for that day only to avoid a potential disruption. Officers cleared the beach in the area to prevent further problems,” said SPI Spokesperson Naida Robles.
On Friday of last week, 19-year-old Anthony Rojelio Rodriguez was arrested and charged with intoxicated assault at the scene of a horrific accident off of Beach Access 5, which occurred in the evening at around 6:30 p.m.
The two-vehicle accident rendered the driver of the second vehicle in serious but stable condition with internal bleeding and a broken pelvis. The victims of the second vehicle were airlifted to Valley Regional Medical Center in Brownsville. Rodriguez, whose Texas Driver’s License listed his place of residence as Elsa, was serving probation for resisting arrest.
Read this story in the March 21 edition of the Port Isabel-South Padre Press, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here.