For co-eds, nightly festivities at South Padre Island's Louie’s Backyard during Spring Break leads to drinking and dancing and general debauchery. For the owners of the club, however, it’s all a highly orchestrated, much-practiced operation that has been honed over decades.
The popular destination gets packed with thousands of screaming college students each night during spring break, a three or four week stretch that nets Louie’s about 60 percent of its annual revenue.
Keeping all those students entertained, relatively calm, and coming back for more is something that owner Dan Stanton thinks about constantly.
“We try and tailor our business to the needs of the current crop of customers,” said Stanton.
During spring break, that means playing specific types of music that keep the ‘Red Bull Generation’, as Stanton called it, engaged and happy.
“You have to play songs above 120 beats per minute, just keeping pumping them out, and never play a song for more than thirty seconds,” said DJ Dirty, a resident DJ at Louie’s during spring break.
That works two ways, however. When one room gets too crowded, a DJ might slow the songs down, forcing the masses elsewhere.
“By controlling our music, we control our crowds,” said Stanton.
"It also gives bartenders a chance to keep up," said Stanton.
The whole thing happens in about 4 hours, with the crowds arriving around 10 p.m. and leaving around 2 a.m.
“They come and party for a few hours, then they’re ready to leave and we’re ready for them to leave,” said Stanton.
A party that works revelers and owners alike.