Tuesday’s combined TDC/CVB meeting at City Hall covered topics such as the impact of extra sporting events and sports marketing on Panama City Beach, (numbers are up and new events keep coming!) approval and discussion of various financial items, an update on the Panama City Beach vegetation project (very well executed so far, almost 60% complete with lots of new sea oats and vegetation planted), and, most importantly, the Seafood Wine & Music Festival for 2010.
Jack Bishop, local restaurant owner and former member of the Bay County Tourist Development Council is one of the festival organizers, and took to the microphone at the meeting to put his thoughts and ideas to the board. Mr Bishop talked about how far the festival has come since it’s roots and how he sees further growth and improvement in the future. “The Seafood, Wine & Music Festival has gone a long way towards restoring the image of Panama City Beach.” Bishop stated. “We need something like this, something for people to do in addition to 4th July, especially now we are appealing to an upper level demographic with the arrival of the new airport.”
Mr Bishop continued to say; “We need to make some short term decisions, and some long term decisions. In the short term, let’s think about 2010. We need to address the issues of security, garbage and sanitation, and production, all of which we need to step up, and will need extra resources for. We need extra promotion and sponsorship, extra marketing, and extra financing.” Mr Bishop then asked for an additional $50,000 on top of the current $60,000 the board has already committed in order to execute these changes. “We know exactly where we are now with the Seafood, Wine & Music Festival, and I have learned many lessons along the way. If I am to take on this extra responsibility, then I am going to need more help.”