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Spring Break '09: Palm Springs Will Take Over for Mexico

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[Palm Springs, Cancun spring break via Desert Sun, Flickr user Kyle Rhodes]

College students, Palm Springs would you like you to know that there is no international drug crime in their desert city, no vats of acids to dissolve your young nubile body, no ransom notes that'll be delivered to your parents. Yes, now that the U.S. State Department has warned college students to avoid some parts of Mexico because of drug violence, Palm Springs is stepping up to the plate, reports the Desert Sun. "We want to provide a good, safe place where parents know their college student kids will come and basically not be kidnapped,” Tim Ellis, vice president of the Palm Springs Hospitality Association, who is also general manager of the Palm Mountain Resort & Spa in downtown, tells the paper. Incidentally, Transient Occupancy Taxes (hotel taxes) dropped 12 percent in December in Palm Springs. So the local Bureau of Tourism will begin a big texting campaign targeting college students, while a new web site, Palm Springs.com has launched (site's tagline: "Palm Springs practically invented Spring Break?.And it is back!") Indeed, the paper points out that Palm Springs was once known as a rowdy party town before a crackdown in the 80s, but commenters on the Desert Sun web site sound alarmed by the city's mass invite. Writes one reader: "In its final years, spring break in PS lead to PS being relagated to a 3rd class tourist destination like the old Ft Lauderdale or South Padre Island in TX. We do not need to do that again."
· Is spring break making comeback? [Desert Springs]
· U.S. Government warns travelers [MSNBC]