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Palm Springs sees big spring break crowds

April 9, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
It's been busier than usual in Palm Springs. A lot of students on spring break decided to spend their holiday in Palm Springs, instead of heading south into Mexico. Mexico's problems stem from an escalating drug war and related violence. It's not anything like it was back in the heyday of spring break in Palm Springs, with wild crowds getting a little too wild. But spring break 2009 here is much busier than in years past.

"I'm a senior at Folsom High School, and I'm here for spring break," said student Karisa Harrison.

But people like Karisa are here almost by accident. Her first choice was Mexico, but with all the recent violence there, she changed her plans.

"We wanted to go to Mexico for spring break, but my mom said no because of all that was happening, so I'm glad we came here," said Karisa.

She's staying at the Holiday Inn on East Palm Canyon, one hotel that despite the recession, is busier than last year because of the spring break boost.

"Occupancy-wise we're up about 30 percentage points on the midday part of the week that they were here," said Tom Van Winkle, Palm Springs Holiday Inn.

It was not as busy here Thursday, as a big group of kids just checked out, and left town, but folks here at the hotel are hoping another big group of spring-breakers comes here next week.

Jeannie Troutman and her family are in Palm Springs on vacation from Seattle. She says before the kids left, it was pretty crazy.

"People in bathing suits, cans all over, beer bottles," said Jeannie0.

But no major incidents to report. Palm Springs police were paying extra special attention to what's going on. This weekend could be the busiest.

"The white party is here, there's a carnival in town, there's a lot of activity in Palm Springs this weekend, the weather should be outstanding, so we expect a big drive-through crowd from L.A., San Diego, Riverside," said John Pivinski, Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce. "It should be happening.

But for families like the Troutmans, hopefully nothing like the wild days of yore.


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