Optimism On PCB: Beth Oltman “Future of PCB Look’s Bright”

by March 15, 2010 • 6 comments

Picture Courtesy of Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce

If you don’t know Beth Oltman, President & CEO of the Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce, now would be a good time to drive down to Richard Jackson Boulevard and get to know one of Panama City Beach’s leading ladies. Beth hails from South Carolina, born in California, she has been the president of the Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce for nearly 4 years.

We sat down with Beth for our Optimism on Panama City Beach series and talked PCB, current and future prospects.

Beth Oltman on the Panama City Beach Community:

“I’m very, very happy with the direction of our community. We’ve been able to take some traditions and rethink them. To have a successful community we have to sometimes re-evaluate how things are done and accept change. This community is taking hold of that. Just because things have always happened one way, doesn’t mean its the best way. We cannot just rely on tourism. To continually advance this area, this region, we have to keep up with the times in terms of education, infrastructure and technology. Already, we’ve been thinking out of the box.”

“Panama City Beach has always been tourist driven and the people here enjoy a high quality of life. But for a healthy community tourism is only one sector. It is a three-pronged stool; tourism, yes, but also a good education and industry are things we have to continue to work on to make this a healthy community. It is important to remember that this community has been splintered for some time. The county and community lines are breaking down. The relationships between the TDC’s and Chambers has grown and in doing do has helped governmental leaders work together to make better plans. We are one community.”

“I’ve lived in New York City, Chicago and many different places, but I know of a fact that this place is where my husband and I want to be. ”

Beth Oltman on the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport:

“The new airport is going to be huge for our community. But mostly I see your children, my children, truly benefiting. There will be instant gratification, of course, but I think it will change the whole region and bring it into the 21st century. What’s also going to happen is our infrastructure is going to naturally improve. These arteries that lead to I10 and can take you across the country are very important.”

“The airport is also giving us an opportunity to grow by bringing in new people into this area, strong leaders and new outlooks. Already, places like Tallahassee are seeing us, this area…this region, in a new light.”

Beth Oltman On Panama City Beach in 10 Years:

“In 10 years PCB will be bigger, better, smarter and working in better harmony with other communities around us and working with nature as well because lets not forget that the reason we’re here is that beautiful beach out there.”

“More affordable housing in areas like Breakfast Point, which will bring more people and better jobs. I see the airport naturally breeding more technical jobs across the region.”

“I also expect Panama City Beach to become a one-stop-shop for businesses to get all their licensing and be able to progress.”

“To me the most rewarding thing about this community is people all work together towards a common goal: to make this a better place for our children.”

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1 Lisa Egstad March 9, 2010 at 8:53 am

Amen Sister!

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2 joy March 9, 2010 at 9:13 am

There should be more restrictions to owners regarding maintiance of their vacant summer homes .Most are an eye sore to our beautiful beach area.

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3 Mac March 10, 2010 at 3:00 pm

What is Ms. Oltman’s opinion on getting rid being the Spring Break drunk & drugfest capital of the U.S.?
Double Standards?: The new condos are required to have landscaping, turn in lanes and paved parking lots, but locals are not! Shuckums just got approved by the city for an addition with no landscape, no grass, just rocks. Shuckums has no turn out, no parking lot just dirt out front, & no noise enforcement. Okay, some landscaping the “Camel”.
PCB cannot be adult stores and abandon buildings then think it’s will be successful going upscale just because of the airport. Decide what you want to be & then do it!

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4 nick March 13, 2010 at 4:27 pm

I totally agre with you. Talk is cheap, and the people should stop depending on the airport to improve the quality of life in PCB.I think they should have a strict building code and require business owners to cleanup properties if we want this area to improve. We don’t want to be known as the redneck riviera!

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5 ryan March 15, 2010 at 4:22 pm

Palm trees along the medians of back beach and other landscape is needed asap.

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6 Bob March 24, 2010 at 6:54 am

As a homeowner in PCB, who travels along the Gulf Coast on a regular basis, I have seen a decline in PCB in recent years. I used to be optimistic in the future of PCB, but the backwards thinking of PCB officials and community leaders, the lack of a cohesive comprehensive plan that is enforced to clean up the beach area and offset the damage done by the declining real estate market has sealed the fate of PCB for years to come. The airport will have absolutely no impact to overcome the current challenges when the community itself fails to be a desirable and marketable commodity and continues to spiral downward. The spring breaker crowd this year has increased in count, yet anyone who walked the beach can attest that the kids were not here for fun in the sun, rather late night partying and drunken brawls in the street. Something must be done immediately to overcome the decline in this town or the implications will be irreversible. The other coastal towns do not have our issues, and have not been impacted as severely as PCB. We need to get our heads out of the sand and do something quickly for an overall urban renewal as PCB will become the dumping ground of the coast and the few tourists with cash the airport may bring will all head west.

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