Businesses Wait For Spring Breakers To Arrive

Allen Stewart and his wife hooked their concession stand to a trailer, and hauled it to Biloxi. The Memphis couple had no idea if anybody would come to the beach this weekend and buy food from the only spring break vendor with a sand beach permit.

"If they come, fine," Stewart said. "If they don't, we'll pick up and go back home. I'm just here to sell food."

Just like the Stewarts, convenience store owner Gwen Edwards has a wait and see attitude about spring break. "If we get them, we'll be glad to see them," she said.

Edwards admitted that was a somewhat surprising comment coming from her, since she had surveillance from two years ago. It showed her Highway 90 store being overrun by spring breakers.

"Bottles had been broken. Beer had been stolen out of the cooler," Edwards recalled. "They would drink the beer, stick the empty bottles in the racks. It was terrible."

But Edwards said things turned around last year, thanks to a stronger police presence near her store, and help from the God Squad. As a result, she said once unruly customers became very thankful customers.

In fact, "I told them that if they would be very nice about it, not damage anything in our store, we would allow them to use our restrooms," she said. "We didn't have one problem."

The great unknown this year is whether the last minute announcement about both Biloxi and New Orleans being spring break cities will help or hurt crowd size. Gwen Edwards hopes the crowds are like last year, because she's not expecting her employees to have any trouble with them.