Panama City Beach Summer tourism soars
Hotels and resorts are reporting record crowds this July, an important barometer month for whether the area has recovered its white-beach aura tarnished by last year’s BP oil fears....
One first-time customer from Las Vegas praised the low fares from Southwest Airlines and said the local beaches were “like the Caribbean, but without the passport.”
Like Colvin, Griffitts was comparing this July to July 2009, and he was seeing an increase of as much as 10 percent.
“There is a good crowd this year,” he said, calling the busy traffic along Front Beach Road just one of several excellent economic signs. “I think the tide is really rising.”
07-19-2011, 11:47 AM #2
bp is using the 100's of articles like this to say they,ve done there duty and made the area whole as look everyones bragging on record years.
07-19-2011, 12:08 PM #3
- Join Date
- Jan 2006
- Backatown Seagrove
I think it's great that the numbers are up, but I also think at some point we need to stop the constant growth and promotion before we destroy what makes this area great.
07-19-2011, 03:23 PM #5
I have lived here all
My life and have done Beach Service for 10 years on 30-a. This year has been a BLESSING compared to last year. I know that most all the Beach Services were rented out on equipment from Mermorial Day to the 4th of July. Spring was also busier than in the past. Looks like we will have a great summer left!
Locals, who only occasionally visit the beach, can't help but notice larger crowds and more traffic this summer. Business owners say this season is shaping-up to be one of the biggest ever.
This is a huge comeback over last summer, when tourists stayed away from local beaches, because of the BP oil spill, which ended-up being a non-event for our area.
Local business owners say they expected this summer to be much better than last year but even they have been surprised by the number of people making their way to the world's most beautiful beaches.
Small store owners say business has exceeded their wildest expectations.
"We expected it would be good, but I don't think this good" says Beth Friday, manager of Shipwreck Shirts.
Diners, restaurants, even local entertainment venues are all saying the same thing.
"It's really picked up this summer" says Adi Rahadlev, owner of Kings of Scooters.
For some, this tourist boom couldn't have come at a better time.
"I almost closed the business, it was like this close" says Rahadlev.
Instead, Rahadlev is enjoying a 500% increase this season. Most other mom-and-pop stores, facing a make-or-break year, are "making it".
"I can hardly keep enough employees to keep it going, because we've been so strong" says 'All American Diner' owner Charles Arentz.
It seems to be the new problem for many of these businesses.
"We need more employees, so that should tell you how busy we are" says Friday.
A fair trade and a far cry from last season.
Most small business owners say they still don't feel they've received fair treatment from the BP claims process to make up for last summer's loses. The Bay County Tourist Development Council's preliminary bed tax collections for May show a 6% increase, but they're expecting huge increases for June and July.
07-23-2011, 04:30 PM #8
- Join Date
- Nov 2004
- SoWal, FL
It is wonderful news for everyone - visitors and locals, businesses, tourism, real estate, etc etc. So glad to have a normal kind of summer - last summer was too depressing for a number of reasons associated with the spill. I like that the crowds seem bigger than ever - it is exactly what was needed.
Last edited by Teresa; 07-23-2011 at 04:32 PM.
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