Recession considered, Panama City Beach has seen quite a summer. While the rest of the country has spent the summer struggling to turn water into wine, Panama City Beach, again, was blessed to drink from the ever-replinishing bottle that southern summers seem to always produce. Labor Day Weekend represents the end of summer for most businesses and the last hoorah before the season begins its decline. Just the same, tourists are gearing up to head to the beach for one last summer outing. The TDC and CVB are working hard to encourage Labor Day vacationers, more now than ever, to return to Panama City Beach for the fall. The question remains: is this really the end of the season?
For the most part, Panama City Beach businesses have remained in the black ink. In fact, year to date bed tax numbers from January through June 2008 are currently up 1.6 percent, or $4,158,268 to $4,091,591.
The TDC efforts have enjoyed considerable success, but it isn’t yet clear if that success will translate to the fall/winter season. This time last year, Panama City Beach was not as focused and organized as it is today; nor was it thinking as opportunistically as it is by way of the new airport’s buzz. Nonetheless, Panama City Beach is on the cusp. In fact, Panama City Beach, to date, has never had access to the type of database it has currently, never had targeted running advertisements in place, and has never been more ready to turn the fall season up a notch moving ever closer to the “mythical” year-round destination. Panama City Beach has a critical opportunity to turn a new leaf and it starts this weekend.
With several fall events lined up ranging from Thunder Beach, Taste of the Beach and the signature Seafood Wine and Music Festival, as well as an “Endless Summer” theme ripe for businesses to possess, everything is in place.
My opinion on the matter is that business, yes you businesses and business owners who’ve done well in the recession season, don’t fall victim to the past. Don’t stop advertising, don’t stop communicating with your clientele–don’t allow the summer wine to stop flowing. It isn’t up to the TDC or the CVB or anyone else. The plan is in place, the opportunity is available and people, believe or not, are traveling to places like Panama City Beach. Keep the wine flowing by staying up to date on the events and using them as a spring board to draw business your way. Think of it as a dress rehearsal for next fall when the airport is in place and Labor Day doesn’t have the stigma it has now. I can assure you, if you do what you do every season and withdraw your staff, stop advertising and close your doors you’ll be missing out on an opportunity you’ll be complaining about next year.
You’ve had a great summer. You can have a great fall/winter too.
It’s up to you.Print Story