CLEARWATER BEACH, Fla. — Spring break season is underway across the Tampa Bay area. It lasts about 6 weeks until mid-April.
It is already the busiest time of year on Pinellas County beaches, but 2019 is expected to be the largest on record.
Tampa International Airport is expecting 3.6 million passengers to fly in over the next six weeks. That is a nine percent spike from last year.
Many Clearwater Beach hotels tell ABC Action News they have been sold out for weeks!
Steven Phillips at Sta' 'N Pla' Motel says they never filled up this quickly.
"Our bookings have been filled up for months and months in advance and now people are fighting for space out here just to find a room for the night. So definitely our biggest year yet,” he said.
Clearwater Police Department is also getting ready to double its beach patrols, checking for alcohol and other issues. Anyone caught with alcohol will face a $118 fine or jail time.
"We are a family friendly destination so we take alcohol violations seriously," Rob Shaw, the spokesperson for Clearwater Police explained.
In 2018, Clearwater Police made 251 arrests during Spring Break. 106 of those arrests were for open container alcohol violations.
Clearwater's recent ranking as the #1 beach in America is also expected to bring more people from across the globe to bask on our sunny and sandy beaches.
You can expect to see a lot of extra traffic on our roads from now through mid-April.