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I think Belize is pretty well discovered at this point.
Which Virgin Islands; British or US?
St Thomas is called The Toilet by the boating crowd.
The BVI are nicer.

I feel bad for you guys who have been there forever and deplore the changes in your paradise.
The same exact thing is happening--has happened--here in Colorado.
Ever since the 70's, more and more people have come to our state.
We have our new airport. We are widening our highways. The interstate up to the mountains is a parking lot every weekend.
Ranchers are selling to developers and open space has become a plethora of McMansions.

So my husband and I thought it would be such a great idea to find a nice little corner of the world where we could some day live. Guess which spot?
Spouse left resumes with several firms, one of which was--boo,hiss--St Joe.
Nothing came of it.

I don't know what the answer is. There are just too darn many people.
Sorry guys. Anyway, for now, if we return, we would be spending money but not moving in. :wink:
Smiling JOe said:
Perhaps the answer is condem dispensors at Grayton Beach???

:?: Dispensors :?: Don't get that one.

Are you saying the Mex Beach is not all it's cracked up to be cause of excessive jet traffic / noise?? :dunno: I had thought of looking there as well. In fact I did some real estate site surfing and was surprised that the pricing was already pretty high and I'm not sure but I don't think there is much of anything to do there.

Cil - Sorry to hear that about CO. Just went to MT and there is nobody there! Prices are high near Big Sky but not much traffic.

Smiling JOe

SoWal Expert
Nov 18, 2004
RiverOtter said:
:?: Dispensors :?: Don't get that one.

Are you saying the Mex Beach is not all it's cracked up to be cause of excessive jet traffic / noise?? :dunno: I had thought of looking there as well. In fact I did some real estate site surfing and was surprised that the pricing was already pretty high and I'm not sure but I don't think there is much of anything to do there.

Yes, condem dispensors may help to cut back on the population. Cil said there are too many people. Just a bit of Beach humor.

Regarding Mexico Beach, I am unsure of what it is cracked up to be, but excessive jet noise is a problem. However, you won't notice it at all after you get use to it, and if you have little boys, they will love it.

Kurt Lischka

Staff member
Oct 15, 2004
Found this on a St. Joe site, it's probably a bit old:

Why does the Airport Authority want to relocate the airport? Do we really need a new facility?

The runways at the Panama City-Bay County Airport are too short and do not have the mandatory safety areas to meet FAA safety margins. These runways are allowed to operate only because of a special FAA waiver for older facilities. That keeps us flying, but its hardly ideal.

[/font]Couldnt we just lengthen the runways and modify the existing airport?

That was the first option considered. It turned out that extending the runways would have cost almost twice as much as building a whole new facility and without providing the environmental or economic benefits that well get from a new airport. Whats more, expansion would have required us to tear down about 500 homes and 25 businesses.

In other words, expanding at the current site would have cost more, but delivered less. It also would have forced a lot of people to find a new place to live. When you look at it closely, expansion is really not a good choice.

[/font]What kind of economic benefits are expected?

[font=Arial,Arial]The new airport will mean a big boost to our economy. In the short run, it means about 5,500 construction-related jobs. Longer term, the new airport will directly support more than 1,700 permanent jobs. Thats according to a study by Washington Economics Group. A new facility also will indirectly create thousands more jobs by attracting businesses that require access to quality air travel options. The construction alone will put about $250 million in additional money into workers pockets and most of that money will get spent in our community. Once completed, the airport should mean about $80 million a year in new tax revenues for the state. Thats taxes that the average citizen wont have to pay. [/font]

Supporters say the new airport means more travel options. What does that mean, specifically?

We expect a greater range of choices when people want to fly somewhere. We also think that travelers will have more attractive fares to choose from as well.

We have talked to virtually every major U.S. airline about the project, asking how to make the facility as attractive to them as possible. We are also using these talks to measure their level of interest in providing service to our region.

A number of airlines, including some low-cost carriers, have told us that they are highly unlikely to service our existing airport because of runway constraints, but would be much more likely to fly in and out of the new facility. That means that residents would likely be able to fly to more places, choose from more airlines and select from a greater range of fare options.

What sorts of business opportunities are anticipated with a new airport facility?

Access to high quality air service and a greater number of destinations is crucial to attracting businesses that depend on air travel. National and international businesses need access to quality air service, and they simply wont set up operations in a community that doesnt have top-notch service. The new facility will open our region to businesses that right now wont consider moving to our part of Florida.

The proposed location gives us enormous opportunities because of the visionary sector plan passed by the county commission. By defining areas for growth for decades to come, we can feel good about attracting new businesses while protecting our quality of life.

One specific advantage will come from the developable land that is adjacent to the new site, allowing businesses to build customized facilities immediately adjacent to the new airport. Thats an option that simply isnt available at most other U.S. airports, many of which are located in densely built areas. That will give us a big advantage when competing for new businesses.

How does the airport fit in with a longer-term vision for our area?

It provides a strong foundation for our future. Indeed, planning for the airport provided the impetus for taking a long-term look at the future of Bay County. The result was the West Bay Sector plan, which provides a detailed road map for the development of a 75,000 acre section of Bay County for the next [50] years. Instead of the sort of piecemeal development that often leaves communities scrambling to add schools or hospitals or new transportation that havent been planned for, the Sector planning process tries to identify in advance all the elements necessary for good life quality before we start building.

And, the planning process includes land for conservation and environmental protection too. An important feature of the West Bay Sector plan is the permanent preservation of a 37,000-acre conservation area on land now owned by the St. Joe Company. Thats a huge gain for the environment that means that virtually the entire West Bay coastline will be protected from development forever.

Who will pay for the new airport?

About two-thirds of the cost will be covered by money from federal and state aviation trust funds, which are generated from aviation user fees that are included in the price of airline tickets. In effect, people from around the country who use this nations airports will pay the lions share of building it.​

The rest of the money will come from the sale of airport revenue bonds and proceeds from sale of the existing airport. The land, which would cost about $12 million to acquire, will be donated by The St. Joe Company.

I think people want to know if they will have to pay more taxes to build the airport. The answer is "no." This project does not require any new tax revenues.

What about charges that this is just the idea of the St. Joe Company, which will trade off a lot of swampland and develop the waterfront property that is now occupied by the existing airport?

Its just plain wrong. St. Joe is donating the land for the airport and, as part of the West Bay Sector plan, is also permanently setting aside some 37,000 acres as a conservation area. No doubt, the company sees some self-interest, but St. Joe is being a good partner. People should acknowledge that.

The airport will be good for businesses generally, including St. Joe. But the reason we want to build this airport is because the existing one no longer meets our needs.

The land occupied by the existing airport will be sold in a public process and the proceeds will be used to help pay for the new facility. That land is not being traded to St. Joe and the company says it will not bid on the land.

Wont this new airport hurt the environment by breaking up sensitive wetlands and pristine forests?

Actually, this project will be a net plus for the environment. As part of the West Bay Sector Plan stimulated by the airport project, some 37,000 acres will be permanently set-aside as a conservation area. The land, which includes almost all of the West Bay shoreline, will be protected against development forever. Thats a big change from current zoning, which allows the construction of some 13,000 homes on that land. So, if you are worried about protecting West Bay, you should love this plan

That new conservation area will more than offset the land used for the airport. The land now has some slash pine woodland, but most people probably dont know that those trees are already being cut and sold for lumber. This is not a protected area, but under the West Bay Sector plan we are going to gain a lot of acres for conservation if this project goes forward

Some people have complained that there hasnt been enough public input in this process, especially the site selection process. What are the facts?

This has been an extraordinarily open process. Talking to the community is very important to everyone involved and public input has been sought at every step.

This is a multi-step process that began with a feasibility study in 1999 to determine whether expansion or relocation was the better option. It then moved to a site selection process, which included three public workshops and was governed by Federal Aviation Administration criteria.

And more steps remain. Approvals are pending from a number of federal, state and local agencies and involve detailed analyses of environmental impacts and costs associated with the project among other elements.

How long will this take to get done? When will the Airport Authority break ground and when would the first plane take off from the new airport?

We still have a ways to go. First, the Airport Authority has to complete the approval process. Assuming all goes well, they hope to break ground by 2005 with flight operations beginning in 2008. There is a long way to go, and that is why the Airport Authority is working hard to maintain the current airport and attract additional service to meet our community needs until a new airport is ready.


SoWal Insider
Nov 16, 2004
Kurt, Does anyone know the proposed flight paths that will bring scores of cash-laden foreign investors. It would be interesting to know what parts of SoWal will be looking up at the plane parade.
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