The Spring Break Effect
Every year near Easter Time, students are forced to take a mandatory hiatus from their education, aptly titled “spring break”. Most students find themselves thoroughly depressed during this period as they miss their schooling dearly. Some try to mask this depression by traveling to faraway lands in attempt to fill the void left in their souls by the absence of tutelage. Such prime locations for spring break travelers see noticeable revenue generated by the influx of college and high school students who come to party, but the ultimate effect is highly overrated, except for the law enforcement industry.
With that being said, the amount of finances pumped into spring break destinations, most notably warm climate regions such as Texas and Florida, cannot be downplayed. Roughly 40% of all collegiate students in the United States vacation to some region, and they bring with them billions of dollars. Between Texas and Florida alone, nearly $1 billion is spent by the students looking to cure their spring break boredom. This money is mostly directed towards income for small businesses that pride themselves on selling cheap rooms or cheap beverages, and has led to an uptick in entrepreneurship. In Panama City, a popular Florida destination, positive business growth was posted for every year between 2001 and 2005 as the amount of total businesses rose from 634 to 779 across the same period.
Panama’s spring break gains are not all that they seem, however, as the lucrative amount of money spent does not translate to a proportional increase in tax revenue. Over the six week period that spring break occurs, around the months of March and April, a reported $170 million was spent by partiers, but the local government asserts that the very same months rake in the fewest tax revenues of the entire year. The same goes for hotel receipts; July is the biggest winner when it come to earning the big bucks with regards to hotel spending. Such results are awfully counterintuitive, until one considers the actual spending habits of students; they are cheap. Often cramming innumerable quantities of people into the same room and consuming the cheapest beer that the human body can safely ingest, it’s no wonder that certain financial situations are not what one might expect.
Aside from hotel receipts and tax revenue, a mark is still left on the spring break towns’, most notably in the form of crime. For police men and women, business is booming when it comes to spring break. The month of March tends to be, by far, the most popular month for crime and citations, and that is almost certainly the result of the influx of hormonal and drunk college students. From February to March, crime in Panama city more than quadruples, and citations increase almost twenty times over. Safe to say, law enforcement workers break a sweat when the spring breakers begin to arrive by the busload, but year round residents might get a kick out of the college aged antics.
Overall, it is clear that spring break partiers provide some form of stimuli to the local economy, but the impact is largely overrated. Aside from providers of cheap booze and cramped hotel rooms, the local economy is affected by dozens of factors that are more significant than the spring breakers. Furthermore, spring breakers bring a wealth of problems that overworked college students tend to provide. The fun of spring break is timeless, but it does not found great and illustrious cities.
"Spring Break & the Economy." Free Enterprise. N.p., 14 Mar. 2016. Web. 12 Apr. 2017.
Thompson, Derek. "2,000 Years of Partying: The Brief History and Economics of Spring Break." The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 26 Mar. 2013. Web. 12 Apr. 2017.
Spring Break spending boosts economy SELENA YAKABENews Editor sdsucollegian.com | 0 comments. "Spring Break spending boosts economy." Sdsucollegian.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Apr. 2017.