Panama City Beach TDC Information

by October 5, 2007 • 7 comments

In a meeting this week, the Panama City Beach Tourist Development Council explored ideas regarding increasing the bed tax. Currently the TDC is being funded by a 2% tax that will generate over $3.5 million this year. The County Commissioners have the authority to increase the bed tax up to 6% as mandated by state law, but must have a separate authorizing vote for each penny per dollar increase. With the sharp increase of rental available units on the beach, it is estimated that we have to draw an additional 3000 visitors here each day during the in-season. I think we need to be clear how the current budget is being spent before we make any increases in bed tax. I think we need to be sure we’re not wasting money before we increase the bed tax which will in turn either increase room rental rates, or cut into rental management profits.

In a conversation I was having with the owner of PanamaCityBeach.com, it was brought up that “spring break is a necessary market segment.” As our industry is tourism, we have no choice than to try and have the best tourism season year after year in order to increase revenue and support our area. But actually, it goes further than that. Tourism is a necessity to keep our community alive. Currently, this is our main revenue generating industry and it feeds the mouths of a large percentage of families in Panama City Beach. We can’t afford to sacrifice any of that market share. The bottom line is, spring break and other types of vacation tourism is our bread and butter, and until we get some other substantial industry here, this is what we have to work with.

With that said, the TDC decided to work with MTV this year to create an “Spring Break Village” during a 10 day period and broadcast the event through its cable and online network. In my conversation with PanamaCityBeach.com owner, we discussed the “party crazy” look that MTV will bring to the area but that it needed to be controlled. He spoke of marketing through “brand conscience Apple and MySpace.” I was against college spring break, but he made me aware that college spring break is a necessity as is commands a large percentage of our yearly tourism revenue, but agreed that we need to move away from the “party crazy” spring break. He mentioned that by utilizing advertising mediums such as Apple and MySpace – whose demographic is specifically targeted – we could ultimately achieve a “higher-end” spring break visitor.?

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1 Jane Peaden October 9, 2007 at 8:01 am

If Spring break could support Panama City beach then we would not have built nice shops and high rises, we would have succeeded with Mom and Pop hotels. I have been a realtor for some 28 years, selling resort properties, I brought my customers from Destin and Navarre Beach/ Pensacola Beach, with the promise of change , this will drive off my customers, it will take even longer if at all. My customers are disapointed and have their units for sale at forclouse prices. You should think twice before you do this. The trash disstruction , gum everywhere and language is horrible, Jane

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2 Jamie McDevitt October 10, 2007 at 8:25 am

I lived in PCB twice…3 years each time…in Palm Bay off of N. Lagoon. We avoided thomas/front beach during spring break…so I was fine with Spring Breakers showing up. However, we moved away and last year…I brought my 3 children 7,10,12 to PCB to stay at Boardwalk and play with their friends from Patronis for a week. Every night from N Lagoon back the 2-3 short blocks to Boardwalk…my kids got an eyefull and earfull. The biggest issue was the showing of breasts for beads. Every vehicle had a girl showing her breasts. I literally had to have my kids lay down in their seats and shut their eyes every night to get back to our condo at Boardwalk. I was so disappointed…I can deal with the language if necessary…even the drunkenness of the breakers on the beach…though I don’t like it….but I couldn’t believe the indecent exposure….trucks full of mixed groups…boys and girls ….and the girls raising their blouses and boys yelling “show us your ???”. The police were trying to control things…but we were sitting in traffic stuck watching this show to my horror. I love PCB – but families will not come back with this stuff going on…I think this situation is the worst next to Spinnaker and LaVela. The biggest complaint of the other families at Boardwalk was that the traffic was so bad that they couldn’t get out to a restaurant and then the restaurant waits were way too long….then you endure the sideshow on the way home.

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3 Jamie McDevitt October 10, 2007 at 8:56 am

Should have added the positive to the statement above….the beaches were beautiful, Boardwalk was beautiful/wonderful….everything else was incredible.

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