SoCal city offers spring break alternative

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. Spring break and Palm Springs used to be synonymous. There were massive crowds and parties that some would say were out of control.

"Palm Springs, in the heydays of the 1970s, got sort of a wild reputation, but it's always been a destination on one way, shape or form," said Jim Dunn, /*Palm Springs Convention Center*/.

Unlike the past decade, Palm Springs might be busy once again this year.

The crowds will not be there because of a wild reputation, but because it's safe. The State Department has issued another warning about travel to Mexico because of drug-cartel-related crime.

A spokesperson from /*Summer Winter Actions Tours*/ in Costa Mesa said, "Many of our existing customers and their families are concerned as a result of the recent Mexico travel warnings issued by various government agencies."

Consequently, the travel agency has rebooked thousands of Mexico-bound college students to Palm Springs.

"I'm looking forward to it. We need business down here, people, exposure. So, yeah bring them back," said Jeanne Martin, who works in a shirt store called Del Sol.

The main thing is that Palm Springs is safe.

"I haven't felt threatened at all. I've walked into the night, me and my husband, and felt perfectly comfortable," said a Palm Springs resident.

In early March, North Palm Canyon in Downtown Palm Springs wasn't very busy, but by mid-March, the spring breakers will pour in. The busiest weeks will be the first two weeks in April.

Officials are pretty sure they won't see the wild nights like the spring breaks of the past. But given the rough recession, Palm Springs will take all the spring breakers it can get.



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