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Spring Break preparations

The Emerald Coast has gained popularity as a Spring Break destination for college students and families.
    And Okaloosa County has plenty of attractions that bring in vacationers.
    But somebody has to put in the work to get ready for them.
Channel Three's Rob Brown spoke with some of those businesses to find out what goes into hosting those spring breakers.

The Spring Break season begins next week, and runs through the middle of April. Many businesses are getting prepared for the rush.

Beach services, restaurants and hotels say Spring Break marks the beginning of the tourist season.

Tracey McCraw said, "Really, we're in the business of sunshine and vacations, and that's where our money comes from."
Tracey McCraw is a manager at AJ's on the Destin Harbor.
He says Spring Break preparations can make or break you.
    "The main thing to prepare just before Spring Break is to get the right amount of food in so that you're not running out."

And those tourists have to stay somewhere.
Charles Noonan runs the Inn on Destin Harbor.

He says the biggest issue is the spring breakers are here to party, while families are on vacation.
    "It's great for business. We sell out every time, however, it's a fight between them and them, trying to make both people happy."

They've added strategies to protect themselves.
    "If you're under 25, we charge a $250 deposit, that's fully refundable."

Noonan says adding staff is a must.
"Definitely. We have two people on the front desk all the time instead of one, and then we have to have a security guard every single night because there are issues most every night."

Now many businesses are hoping that a busy Spring Break will lead to a busy summer tourist season as well.