Paving the Way for Harley Davidson on Panama City Beach

by February 2, 2010 • 36 comments

READ: Harley-Davidson Dealership Groundbreaking

You’ve driven past the sign probably a thousand times since it was posted; some of you passing with excitement, others with disdain. Either way, Harley Davidson Motor Cycles is coming to Panama City Beach. The acceleration lane headed West from the intersection of Panama City Beach Parkway and Gulf Blvd is almost complete and the crews have one more layer of asphalt to lay. After that, its vroom, vrooom!

Businesses like Harley Davidson moving into our area is always a good thing, a sign of the economic prosperity to be had on our wonderful beaches. However, we at have read the comments (see exhibit A) about Bike Week and although we are fans of the event, the chromed-out weekend remains one of PCB’s most polarizing topics. Some love it, some hate. Harley Davidson’s arrival onto our beach can only mean that the bike week has more staying power than many realize.

We expect construction to begin soon on the latest addition to the Harley Davidson family of Dealers.

This construction appears to be the first of the “Commercial Opportunities” that are offered by the St. Joe Company along Panama City Beach Parkway (or Back Beach Road, as some still call it). This and other land parcels are convenient to Frank Brown Park and Pier Park.

As growth continues on Panama City Beach… We’ll keep you posted!

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1 Joe Mast February 9, 2010 at 8:20 am

Some may view the two Thunderbeach events with distain but rest assured that none of the merchants distain the amount of money and the economic imnpact the events bring to PCB. I have been to many of the rallys and for the most part the bikers are well behaved.

Cheers Joe Mast


2 Eric T Henderson February 9, 2010 at 8:53 am

Good for us. You cant stop growth. What do you think the airport is going to do?


3 captgeobob February 9, 2010 at 9:09 am

I came down here to get away from the noise and traffic, I will be moving on to a more relaxed and peaceful area. So long PCB, its been real.


4 John F February 11, 2010 at 1:09 pm

Good-bye captgeobob! I’ll still be living here with my Road King. I’ll think about ya evertime I twist the throttle.


5 Ron February 9, 2010 at 9:44 am

If the people of PCB cannot take the noise of Thunder Beach, I have an idea, move it to Mississippi gulf coast. We are desperate any business to help the economy. I live in Bay St. Louis, Ms. We have very little outside money coming into our community. Since Katrina a lot of people have not come back because there is not much to come back to. I have watched business after business go under. We had 3 car dealerships, now only one. We had 4 grocery stores, now only one. Home Depot is having a big closing sale. Buildings for lease everywhere. No jobs. Without tax money from these businesses, how will the city keep going? You guessed it, me the tax payer. My land taxes go up every year. We need outside money coming in to stimulate the economy. I don’t care if it is Thunder Beach or a Freak week, I can take a week of it to get our economy back on track. And yes, we have a Harley Shop 25 miles from here and they are doing good. Bikers spend money.


6 bear February 9, 2010 at 2:23 pm



7 Billy Bob February 9, 2010 at 10:54 am

This is going to be GREAT !!!


8 Sharon Ernst February 9, 2010 at 12:44 pm

My goodness, the gentleman above can only make it to the beach two week-ends throughout the year? Most of the people at the Bike Rallies seem well behaved, and friendly. Why do we always have to zero in on a few folks who act like maniacs. They are pretty much at every single event. I heard some of the parents acted pretty stupid when the balloons dropped at Pier Park New Years Eve. You know, their kids may have never had an opportunity to get a balloon again in their lifetimes….baaahahahaha!


9 Shannon February 9, 2010 at 4:01 pm

To Captgeobob….Let me get this straight….You moved to PCB to get away from noise & traffic? I don’t live there but isn’t “noise & traffic” pretty much the norm in PCB 9 or 10 months out of the year? Between Thunder Beach (which I attend every year), Spring Break (which I attended in my younger days), & the Summer vacation season (when I bring the family down) the “nosie & traffic” seems pretty much non stop. Shouldn’t you have chosen a more quiet location to start with? I mean, PCB *is* a tourist destination.


10 Brad February 9, 2010 at 4:29 pm

You don’t like the noise, get the hell out! PCB is really only known for a few events that put them on the map! Spring Break and Ironman. There needs to be alot more annual events to make it a real place to go. So what, a little inconvenience for a few days while the area takes in a ton of revenue! Stay home those days,leave town but please stop your bitchin!


11 OhioAllstar February 9, 2010 at 7:47 pm

Come to PCB Jan to 1 May. Have been coming here from Ohio for 12 straight years. The wife and I love the PCB area. We have friends everywhere here, the Navy Base, our favorite morning breakfast place which is locally owned and its employees, the grocery stores, Pier Park and shopping the Mall at Pier Park, our favorite evening out meal which is a locally owned restaurant (and yes we do tip 20% or more) and the condo we lease from a local. We enjoy seeing the Spring Break fresh faces having a great time. But come May it is time for us to get back to beautiful central Ohio then up to Lake Erie at our summer residence.


12 Robin February 9, 2010 at 7:48 pm

After reading the comments about Thunder Beach and the revenue it generates to the local economy, I was just wondering how many of you realize your tax dollars are also hard at work at the kickoff party at the beautiful Shores of Panama currently owned by the FDIC (You). So everyone should be supportive of the Rally. Also, kudos to Bay Point Marriott for snagging the newest venue location. The 60+ thousand bikers will enjoy the ride and setting at Bay Point! Ride Safe


13 clancy February 10, 2010 at 7:46 am

WELCOME HARLEY-DAVIDSON ! Thunder Beach (twice a year) is a peaceful event primarily drawing husband & wife teams and lots and lots of ‘trikes’. The bikes & trikes are beautiful examples of workmanship. A good time is had by all and the touring bikers increase the economy not only in Bay County but also along the entire panhandle visiting tourist sites of interest, restaurants and hotels. Try visiting Frank Brown Park or one of the other venues and you will be pleased to learn that this is more a bike/trike ‘family’ event than what you probably envision. This is the “good side” of motorcycle touring. Until now, Ft. Walton and Dothan were the nearest Dealerships to us and we have long needed a Harley dealership here in the Panama City area…So, again I say “Welcome to Willie G. and Harley”. I live here and you have probably seen my blue Electra-Glide Ultra cruising by during the year…..wave and I’ll wave back; Noisy ?….Way less than “boom-box” base speakers in the trunks of tiny foreign cars…


14 John G February 11, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Hip Hip Hooray!!! May Harley be the first of many many more businesses to seize the opportunities our area offers.

For the one malcontent who doesn’t like “noise and traffic” may I suggest that you relocate to somewhere deep in the woods. If you decide you want a police force, fire department, hospital, doctor, convenience store, grocery store, or any of the other necessities and amenties most of us expect, then you should pay for them yourself. Certainly don’t expect to attract any neighbors to share in the costs. Those people will want to have jobs and they certainly create noise and traffic.

Onward and upward!!!


15 John F February 11, 2010 at 1:05 pm

Good-bye CptGeobob! Long live Thunder Beach! I’m a resident! Let’s hear some motorcycle noise!


16 John F February 11, 2010 at 1:06 pm

Oh yeah! And welcome Harley Davidson! I have one! No longer riding an hour or two to a dealership. You’ll be walking distance away from my house! Yippeeeeee!


17 Scott May 21, 2010 at 3:49 am

Now instead of everyone taking their bikes to Dothan they can bring them
here and have a nice day on the beach while they are serviced. I will be
able to cross the bridge and enjoy Pier Park with my wife instead of a
hundred mile drive. Win-Win situation.


18 raymond February 17, 2010 at 10:46 am

The way the economic is,it is great to have a new business at PCB. amatter of fact the PCb business council should provide incentive to bring more business to this area


19 Britt March 12, 2010 at 9:53 pm

Long live Harley!! My fiance is going to school to work on them at WyoTech and we are looking forward to him working at the one in PCB. We have been looking forward to it opening since Fall Rally ’09 when we got engaged. And anyone who thinks its to much for the area then wow you shouldnt even live here. Fall 2010 can’t get here fast enough. See everyone opening day.


20 donna September 3, 2010 at 6:37 pm



21 Sue February 2, 2011 at 11:15 am

Just take a look at what happened in Myrtle Beach SC. They had a rally that would bring in 250,000+ bikers and a ton of revenue. But due to the blue hairs that do not depend on an income complaining about the noise the local politicians have made Myrtle Beach a Non Biker Friendly city and lost this revenue for ever.


22 jerry April 29, 2011 at 8:59 am

The Myrtle Beach Chamber Of Commerce provided figured showing the spring motorcycle rally brought in 300 million dollars in a 10 day period. Adding in the Memorial Day Weekend rally in North Myrtle Beach ran the total to 400 MILLION DOLLARS in a 14 day period.
Yes, the city council with 7 out of 8 members living within a 3 square block gated community, or affluent area of the city, passed laws to get rid of the rallies and revenue.
Their message was clear: unless you are retired and rich, don’t move to Myrtle beach.


23 Cheryl February 4, 2011 at 3:12 pm

I can’t wait……we were hoping it would be open by Spring…..good luck HD of PCB….we will see you when you open!


24 andrew kratzer February 12, 2011 at 4:09 pm

Is it or isn’t it coming. I haven’t seen any construction. I guess it’s probably in litigation since Heratige Cycle doesn’t want it.


25 Mike February 12, 2011 at 8:39 pm

Two thunder beach rally’s per year is too much. Why not just have one and start it on Wednesday? Most bikers show up early anyway. As far as the HD franchise, the owners don’t have the money to build and no bank will loan them money. So it will be awhile if ever.
Same deal with the indoor surf place that has been half built going on 2 years now.


26 Noreen March 29, 2011 at 10:52 am

I’m sooo excited about the New Harley Shop, that when its finishes I will travel 16 hours to just visit it twice a year!!!
I have property on Laguna Beach and the new shop will be fabulous…..
I am stoked……………Hell I might even ride the Bike down…….


27 Will Burk April 27, 2011 at 8:30 pm

Is this a go or just a pipe dream?


28 Kevin Garraghty July 20, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Please let me know 4 weeks before Grand Opening, I am interested in selling a lot of New Harley’s at this location !! Feel free to call me at 615-585-4118 .
Thank You


29 Bruce Dexter August 1, 2011 at 10:49 am

A Harley dealer will add an improtant quality to the area…including bringing in more bikes=business!
The vast majority of Harley riders are financially able to SPEND versus Spring breakers who come for one reason…and it isn’t to respect our beaches of life in general.

Soooo…what happened to the dealer as of 1 August 2011? Investments fell through?


30 Pete November 18, 2011 at 5:19 pm

Been living in Bay County on and off for 25 years. Also been riding bikes my whole life. I have hoped for a dealership in the area since I moved here. Dothan has a great facility but having to ride 100 miles really sucks. As far as Heritage HD goes I wouldn’t spend a dime in thier place if it was the last dealership on earth. Got the door slammed in my face after walking 2 miles cause it was closing time. All I needed was a throttle cable. They cater to the Eglin/Hurlburt crowd and could care less about anybody else.
A dealership here would be great but we have been told “Coming Soon” long enough. Tampa HD…….S%$# or get off the proverbial pot!


31 michael miller November 10, 2012 at 2:31 am

i am looking foward to moving back to panama city beach after i finish up school here at MMI, i would love to work there as a technician. please contact me at


32 Richard Donohoo December 29, 2012 at 5:26 pm

Have been riding all my life be glad to see open are you all taking applacations.
thanks Rick


33 Travis Taylor February 7, 2013 at 9:37 am

Hello PCB Harley! Excited to hear of a new dealership and possibly new opportunity? I Am a well seasoned harley mechanic of 17 yrs. 5 yrs dealership experience to owning my own shop. Im looking to plant my feet in a fresh start and would like to talk to somebody about a posiion in your service department for employment.look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your time.


34 Nancy Rains March 28, 2013 at 11:42 am

We go to the Thunder Beach, spring and fall, Rally every year. Last year ground wasn’t broke yet. Will your store be open when we go May 1st. 2013 for the spring rally?


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