Viral hashtag draws thousands to unpermitted pool party in San Marcos

Viral hashtag draws thousands to unpermitted pool party in San Marcos

Viral hashtag draws thousands to unpermitted pool party.

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by KVUE.com

KVUE.com

Posted on July 3, 2014 at 10:44 AM

SAN MARCOS, Texas -- The manager of a student housing complex in San Marcos is facing a $1,400 fine after a social media advertising campaign went viral, bringing an estimated 2,000 people to a pool party that had no event permit.

San Marcos Assistant Police Chief Chase Stapp says he spoke with The Retreat's manager, Clark Matthews, last week when the venue informed the city of the party.

Stapp says he advised Matthews to postpone the event because they hadn't applied for the permits.

"You know, he's got a boss too and they conferred. Ultimately the company decided to go ahead and proceed with the event," said Stapp.

In the end, promoters estimate more than 2,000 people showed up to a pool with a capacity of just 750 people.

Endless Entertainment was hired to run a social media campaign, according to a spokesperson for the company. They promoted the second annual event using the viral hashtag #TXSummerbash and pictures showing a similar scene to Saturday's from the event in 2013.

Endless Entertainment company representative, who goes by "Big Neechi", says people flew in from all over the country to attend. He says Endless Entertainment strives to promote Bobcat pride and San Marcos, not stir controversy.

But he says when they realized how their social media efforts had taken off, they stopped promoting the event about two days in advance, in an effort to be responsive to neighborhood concerns about drunken behavior and lack of parking.

Student Priscilla Recio says she heard about the event over social media, and decided to check it out last Saturday.

"I had to go upstairs to take a picture and it was like packed. All you could see was heads everywhere," said Recio.

Recio said the event was "out of her comfort zone" but previous Summer Bash pool parties have garnered a reputation among the student community, and she was curious to "see what all the commotion was about."

While she said it was fun, she also had concerns about the number of people who appeared intoxicated.

"There were people drunk in the pool- that's just not a good mix," said Recio.

Nobody was injured at Saturday's event, but Stapp says it was a dangerous situation.

"You can't always say 'all is well that ends well,' because next time it might not end well. And were fortunate that it did and that nobody was injured," said Stapp.

After neighborhood complaints about noise and parking, Stapp says it took nearly every on duty officer in the city to shut the party down.

He says they've since met with Matthews and reiterated the importance of event permitting. Stapp says Matthews agreed- this year's event got too big. Stapp says he's confident if the complex decides to hold another event next year, it will not violate city code.

The Retreat is a member of a local partnership called Achieving Community Together, which brings community members together with Texas State to foster better relations between the permanent and student residents. Stapp says The Retreat's membership in the organization may be reconsidered after this weekend.

The complex is also the Official Student Housing Sponsor of Texas State Athletics, according to the university. However, spokesman Jayme Blaschke says the association is a corporate sponsorship, but the university does not pay for students to live there.

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