Crab Island businesses get early start
Several of the floating bars, restaurants and attractions have dropped anchor on Crab Island a little early this season.
"We wanted to try and catch the wave of spring breakers," said Stan Shipp, the owner of WaterWorld.
WaterWorld, which is a floating cantina offering Mexican food, drinks, water sports and a full-time DJ, was recently featured on the HGTV show "How Close Can I Beach?"
Rumors of possible new regulations for Crab Island’s businesses due to safety issues have concerned several vendors.
"Vendors serve a great purpose at Crab Island. We provide medical attention if someone gets sick and we help people with their boats if something goes wrong," said Shipp. "Regulations would make it more difficult to operate so that it’s not worth the effort."
Rob Kopald organized the Electric Island Music Festival that was held on Memorial Day Weekend last year, and will be held on May 27 of this year. He commented on the festival’s Facebook page in regards to the possible regulations:
"I spoke to the Coast Guard a few weeks ago and have tweaked a few things since last year," said Kopald. "We will have five bouncers and lifeguards, licensed captains for the shuttle boats, and the dance floor barges won’t be motorized, they’ll be anchored in place."
In addition, the DJs won’t be allowed to use expletives over the microphone, and alcohol will not be available for purchase at the festival.
Kopald, who has been a Destin resident for 26 years, owns several businesses in the area.
"Everything is going to be on the up and up, we’ll be in compliance with what we were asked to change by the Coast Guard," Kopald said.
According to Destin councilman Parker Destin, the city doesn’t have jurisdiction over Crab Island to create and enforce any regulations on the area or its vendors.
"We’re always concerned with people’s health, safety, and welfare, but Destin simply doesn’t have jurisdiction over Crab Island."
CLICK TO LISTEN: