Thanks to the New York Times for nudging those suddenly budget-conscious East Coast and Midwest staycationers out of their stupor and toward South Florida. This weekend, the Gray Lady recommended a trip to the less celebrated tourist nooks of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach, and Hillsboro Beach, all of which offer "affordable fun."
But let's hope the tourists buy their tickets fast. The article, which ran with a picturesque scene of fishermen on Anglin's Pier, did not mention that the state has to close a $3 billion budget hole and that among the possibilities is a $15 license to fish off a pier. These kinds of obscure fees are a more politically viable alternative to straightforward means of raising state dollars from taxing tourists -- such as hiking the bed tax or increasing the surcharge for renting a car. Those two efforts were met with swift and deadly opposition earlier in the legislative session.