Hvar Allows Carpe Diem to Operate 24 Hours a Day

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The Hvar Town Council has changed the regulation on the operating hours of hospitality facilities in the town, which is, in fact, a step towards achieving the goal of cooperation between the local authorities and the owners of the Carpe Diem club, reports Slobodna Dalmacija on February 28, 2019.

This is part of the attempt to introduce some order in the party tourism industry in Hvar. It was openly announced that the same level of co-operation is expected with the well-known “Hula Hula” beach bar, as well as with the ever-increasing number of boats on which party guests “relax.” The idea is to demand from these venues to adapt their behaviour so that they would contribute to a better tourist image of the town.

Eight of the ten councillors present (4 HDZ, 2 MOST, 1 SDP and 1 independent) supported the proposal made by Joško Rosso (MOST) that restaurants and bars located at least 500 metres (it used to be 2,000 meters) from the populated part of the town should be allowed to operate 24 hours a day.

Since the change of regulations is actually only relevant to the Carpe Diem Beach Club, located in the bay of Stipanska at the Martinkovac islet in the Pakleni Islands archipelago, since there are no other venues which fulfil this condition, the logical question is why the change was needed.

“Carpe Diem’s operating hours were limited to 2 am in order to strengthen the position of the town administration in terms of the rules of behaviour. Since there is no real alternative in Hvar to this venue, during the summer, after the closure of the coffee shops at Pjaca, there were up to several thousand young people not knowing what to do next. Of course, the police would have more work. On the other hand, with the closure of Stipanska, we would have fewer younger tourists coming, the number of seasonal workers would fall, as well as town-level revenues. We would certainly lose in this game, and that is not the goal, but on the contrary, to responsibly change this form of tourism in our town,” said Rosso.

Citizens complain mostly about the noisy “after beach parties” during the afternoons at the “Carpe Diem” bar at the town’s waterfront, as well as about the night-time noise coming from Stipanska and the return of guests to Hvar in the early morning hours. Nada Jeličić (MOST) is known for her attitudes toward party tourism since it was her amendment last year which returned Stipanska under the administration of the town, which allowed it to stay open just until 2 am. But she has now apparently changed her position, so she was asked by reporters what made her change her opinion.

“I must emphasise that finally, in order to get rid of the party destination image, we have set the condition that the summer after-beach parties at Carpe Diem must be discontinued and that the noise from Stipanska must be strictly controlled, so it does not bother citizens and other tourists who do not enjoy this kind of entertainment. The start of the night transportation to Stipanska was moved from 11 pm to 00.30am, and the venue must provide staff on the waterfront in the early morning hours who will welcome the guests, warn them if they are too noisy, and direct them towards their apartments or taxi-vehicles if needed,” said Jeličić.

All this, the councillor added, is in the best interest of the town, but if the agreement is not respected, the current amendments to the regulations will be revoked, and the situation will return to the previous one. The local council adopted the change because the negotiations with Josip Ćurković, one of the co-owners of Carpe Diem, included the independent councillor Katica Vučetić, who is also the president of the Hvar Craftsmen Association, and Jurica Miličić (HDZ), president of the City Council. Rosso stated at the session that “in this case, this is not a takeover of negotiating powers of the mayor, because making decisions is, in any case, the exclusive competence of the Council.”

Even before, Mayor Rikardo Novak did not hide the fact that the town was negotiating with the club co-owners, so last year there were fewer protests about the noise coming from Stipanska. For a while, they even discontinued the after-beach parties and announced they would move them from the town to Stipanska this year.

The “war” against party tourism in Hvar was first announced in mid-2017. At the time, Mayor Novak spoke about people vomiting around the town, urinating on every corner, walking without a shirt, sleeping in public areas, drifting around and not knowing what is happening. Therefore, the town introduced fines for such behaviour: whoever walks in swimwear will pay up to 600 euro, women dressed in the upper part of the swimsuit and men with no shirts will pay up to 500 euro, and people wandering the streets carrying alcohol or lying drunk on the streets up to 700 euro. However, this all remained just a threat since fees are seldom charged.

More news about Hvar can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Translated from Slobodna Dalmacija (reported by Mirko Crnčević).


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