- Associated Press - Saturday, March 19, 2016

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas (AP) - It’s beads and beer bong season at several shops on South Padre Island.

While overall sales at some of the shops might be higher in the summer due to family vacations, Lili Espinoza at Mirage said she restocks the beads and beer bongs before her shift ends.

“It’s more families in the summer,” Espinoza said. “A lot of the college kids that come for Spring break usually just come in to buy something quick.”

The Monitor (http://bit.ly/1Wyfsio ) reports reports Espinoza and other shop and restaurant workers were mostly on the same page, stating even though numbers aren’t in yet, there has been more activity this year than last.

Gustavo Sandoval from Ocean Motion said the weather last year was poor, which didn’t bode as well for business.

But he said his shop does well, especially this year.

“People come here to have fun, so they like cool and they like funny,” Sandoval said. “We don’t charge extra for the print on the shirts. Other places do.”

He’s right, other places do charge. But the prices fluctuate, as does the quality depending on where consumers go.

Norma Lopez from Jaws said the shirts typically sell the best of anything in her shop, though the store was mostly dormant yesterday morning.

“It comes and goes, depending on the time and weather,” Lopez said.

Rain or shine, something that typically sells well is alcohol. Feldman’s typically has tasting stations throughout the store. One on the main drag, South Padre Boulevard, had four stations.

Some hoarse-voiced friends ambled through the Feldman’s before 11 a.m. Thursday and took shots at the stations.

“We got to keep drinking,” one said. “Let’s do this.”

Just down the street at Grapevine Café, business flowed. General Manager Gino Puedan said families typically dine earlier in the morning and the college kids typically roll in later.

Puedan said they’ll often have a wait around 10:30 or 11 a.m., but they turn over tables quickly to keep business moving.

Like Puedan, Espinoza said business has just flowed better this year with the weather. And the addition of Rockstar Beach is a plus.

“When everyone’s having fun, business is pretty good,” Espinoza laughed.

___

Information from: The Monitor, http://www.themonitor.com

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