Booze on St. Pete Beach: Legal for hotel guests but what about locals?

Hotels say St. Pete Beach losing tourism edge

ST. PETE BEACH, Fla. - The St. Pete Beach City Commission could soon make it legal for hotel guests to legally drink alcohol the city's beach. The new ordinance, as written, says nothing about city residents or people living in the Tampa Bay area.

Amy Jackson, a former Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleader, says St. Pete Beach's proposed rule is not fair and would like not to sneak a cooler of beer onto the beach.

"I think I should be able to," says Jackson. "It's my beach!"

City Commissioners will vote on whether or not the changes will be implemented on August 8.

Hoteliers, including TradeWinds Islands Resort President Keith Overton, says St. Pete Beach needs this measure to stay competitive with other beaches, including Treasure Island, that allow looser alcohol laws.

The commission will discuss policing the rule. Hotel guests would still have to abide by certain restrictions, including cabanas and distance to the water.

However, the original ruling for non-hotel beach property would doubt remain: no alcohol would be allowed on public beaches in St. Pete Beach.

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