PCB Tourism Board Fights Back on Potential Oil Spill

by June 11, 2010 • 61 comments
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With the looming threat of oil hitting our pristine beaches in one form or another, the Bay County Tourism Development Council (TDC) met this week to discuss how they can fight the negativity and display why Panama City Beach is still an ideal summer vacation spot for guests, new and old alike.  The solution was to come up with a whole summer full of fun with festivals, live concerts and events that will show our visitors that in Panama City Beach, it’s not just the beach anymore.

Officials beleive that it’s realistic to expect oil in the shape of tar balls, light sheen, or a foamy mouse, but nothing more.  Additionally reported, the product that may make it to our shores will be so weathered, that it’s toxicity levels will be little more than grease.

So what’s in store for this summer, you ask?  Here are some of the ideas discussed:

  • Fireworks every week
  • Random parades along the beach in different areas
    • It was discussed the the TDC buy floats (like Disney) or local groups enter their floats for free
  • Concerts at various locations
    • Having varying tiers with different levels of performers
    • Some of the locations discussed were Aaron Bessant Park, Frank Brown Park, the new County Pier (with great parking close by)
  • Various contests including a huge sand castle competition, some contest for the kids like hacky sack contests, frisby throwing contests and frisby catching competitions for dogs.
  • Random “beachy” elements around town, such as steel drums playing at super markets

BP has given the state of Florida $25 million to be portioned out to county tourism officials across the effected areas to be used for marketing expenses related to the oil spill.  Bay County’s portion was $1.1 million.  In addition, the TDC has set aside $500,000 to be used to help fund events or any other costs associated with boosting our summer.  The $1.1 million from the state can only be used for marketing expenses.

The whole idea was stemmed from tourism officials wanting to be sure that tourists understood that this summer was going to be the most fun-filled summer we’ve ever had and that they don’t want to miss it.

This brings an interesting point, and leads to a question that I’ve always pondered.  The conventional thought in Panama City Beach has always been, “Why spend money and put on events in the summer when visitors are coming to our beaches anyway?”  Yet, interestingly, the question I’ve seen so much on PCBDaily is, “There is nothing to do in Panama City Beach.  I love going to the beach, but I don’t want to do that every day.”  So, here is my question:  Do you think tourism traffic would be substantially greater in the summer than it normally is if we have festivals or events on or around the beach EVERY summer?  Answer in comments.

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1 Beach guy June 11, 2010 at 3:00 pm

Events arent what tourists come here for during the Summer months, they come for the beaches and water. They are fine in the off season to bring in folks for weekends though.

If the hotels and condos want their bookings to stay strong they need to offer 100% money back gaurantees for any days there is any type of oil on the beaches. Not the mickey mouse stuff I read about yesterday, giving people a credit towards another vacation here. Who knows if there will even be another vacation here after the Summer Of Oil is done.

I also believe the talk of nothing more than some tar balls and sheen coming here are ridiculous, that whole mess will move eastward as the Summer continues, along with the next 2 months of oil thats still pumping out of the well. Is this site sponsered by the TDC?

All just my opinion.


2 James June 12, 2010 at 6:41 pm

Well said Beach guy.


3 Rhonda June 28, 2010 at 10:36 pm

I so agree with you beach guy, we have never been to the gulf coast and we have spent a couple thousand dollars already to have the vacation of a lifetime during the fourth of July week. We took out the traveler’s insurance “just in case” and then the worst happened–the big oil spill–we tried to get our money back through the insurance because we didn’t want to go to Panama City Beach to see and smell oil, only to be told we could not be refunded due to the fact it was not an “Act of God’ so I agree that if there is oil on the beach we should get a 100% refund for each day that we cannot enjoy the beach. I feel that we should be rimbursed by BP not the owners of the Condo because they are not at fault for what is happening in the Gulf. Just saying….
We will be there in Panama City Beach next week so we are really praying for clear water and clean beaches.


4 Lindsey June 11, 2010 at 3:13 pm

I think that this is a great plan, to offer other things other than just the beach aspect of PCB. I went to PCB for the first time last year so I’m sure I’m not the most experienced vacationer to comment here but I do agree that you can only stay on the beach for so long.

With the threat of the oil coming to the white shores, and with my vacation date coming up faster (June 26th), I think the sooner the TDC comes up with alternatives for those of us that are still going through with their vacations in PCB the better!


5 Rhonda June 28, 2010 at 10:39 pm

I agree whole heartedly, I will be there the week of the 4th, we decided to hve a family reunion there this year, and would love to have a lot of alternatives than to just lahy around on the beach.


6 Deidre June 11, 2010 at 4:01 pm

My family has our vacation planned for PCB beginning July 16 and we are very concerned. However, we are still planning on coming down as long as the beach isn’t completely covered in oil and the fumes aren’t there. I love the fact that you guys are coming up with events/activities for beach-goers. Awesome idea!


7 The Dude June 11, 2010 at 4:13 pm

I think that it’s a great idea to have extra events and concerts but I think that it should ALWAYS be like that. Panama City Beach should be “a happening place” year round not just in the summer.


8 Wayne June 11, 2010 at 7:58 pm

I have to agree with beach guy on this one. My family and I have reservations towards the middle of July and can not cancel within a month of our reservation unless the beaches are closed. We are seriously considering cancelling because we know the beaches will not be closed unless it is an absolute mess. I don’t want to come down if people are told not to swim. If the property owners would change their cancellation policy they would most likely have many less cancellations. All vacationers should be given up to 48 hrs to cancel. It’s too much money for vacationers to take the risk.


9 teach93 June 13, 2010 at 9:51 am

I know how you feel. I was supposed to be there from the 2nd-6th of August. Where I was staying had no oil guarantee, “because it isn’t going to get here.” I had to cancel 72 hours before arrival, and I was afraid at that late date we wouldn’t find anywhere else to go, so I cancelled. This really made me sad because we have come down quite a bit over the last few years. Being from Illinois, I can tell you it is ALL about the beach!!!


10 jamnolfin June 12, 2010 at 12:56 am

Its to much risk for the condo owners to take. A renter cancels 48 hours in advance for no reason other than what they heard on CNN is crazy. The owner doesnt have time to get somebody else in that spot and they are screwed. Theres alot of people that come here that never step foot in the water.


11 James June 12, 2010 at 6:41 pm

Too much risk? Don’t buy rental property.


12 Nicolosi99 June 13, 2010 at 4:51 pm

Is this the same Jamnolfin from Warchant?? Good to see you here too! Coming to PCB next week and looking forward to it. I can understand if some people don’t ever step foot on the beach- I am a pool girl myself…love to see and hear the gulf and look at it first thing when I wake up in the morning, but having an 18 month old- we may make it to the sand for about 20 minutes, but we’ll be at the pool the rest of the time. Love other things to do in PCB…can’t wait to hit Pier Park.


13 Jean June 15, 2010 at 5:04 am

I have two beach houses rented beginning the 27th and a bunch of little kids. I am going to come down and scope it out for everyone a day early. If we cancel (we all know the beaches won’t close) I lose $5,000, but if I go I spend $7,000 more. Good money after bad? I don’t understand the harsh treatment of people concerning deposits. Can’t the businesses file with BP? I know I certainly will! But at least they have an established route/ opportunity. I didn’t even see a public pool for the kids, just one waterpark, and the other places don’t give day passes.


14 Renee June 12, 2010 at 2:23 am

people may never set foot in the water but a lot of people come for the beach and never do anything else.yes i feel that if the owners would allow cancelations if any form of oil is on the beach they wouldnt have as many cancelations it would just make more people feel better knowing the option is there.I am comeing june 26 even if there is oil because i love pcb and know want to support pcb residents as hard as this is for vacation people it is so much harder for the ones who live there and depend on tourists for their liveing i hope i will be able to enjoy the beautiful beaches there like i always have but this year if their is oil i will be their anyway,I hope this oil does not effect the people who live and work there,


15 Bearabull June 12, 2010 at 6:47 am

I’m letting people cancel because it’s their vacation and I understand if they don’t want to take the chance. That being said, I’ve still had 3 cancellations for June and have even discounted my remaining June rates over 25% and still not getting takers. I didn’t have to file a claim in May, but looks like I will have to now as I depend on that income to help pay my mortgage. Also, seeing how accurate BP has been (NOT), I don’t expect the relief wells to be ready in August and this will take decades to recover from. Have you seen some of the underwater video? UGHH


16 Tammie June 26, 2010 at 9:34 am

I understand an owners need financially to pay their mortgage based on rentals; however, is the mortgage for the month of July (or Peak Season) more than any other throughout the year? I’m willing, and there are over 50 of us in our group, to come down and chance it, but not for peak season rates. We should be offered winter, or at the very least spring rates, instead of 10-25% off. I would think that something is better than nothing but from my experience thus far, not much incentive being offered to us. We work hard all year and look forward to our one week on the beach but I just can’t see paying the peak season rates with potentially only having the option to view the beach from a balcony and not get in it!


17 beach girl June 12, 2010 at 8:54 am

hey ya’ll. i’m going down to the beach in panama city today til next saturday. so i’ll let ya’ll know if there is any oil down there that would ruin our vacations this summer! 🙁


18 samantha gilbert June 12, 2010 at 9:23 am



19 Rhonda Moffatt June 28, 2010 at 10:51 pm

We made our vacation plans for PCB in late October, and we are still planning on being there the week of the 4th of July, so it would be great to have alternative things to do just in case the oil would happen to make it to shore. BP should refund the days that the oil comes in to the beach, the owners of the renal propeties should not have to suffer a loss for BP’s negligence. does anyone know if we can file legitimate claims against BP if our vacations are ruined by the spill?


20 Rob June 12, 2010 at 1:28 pm

I think it’s a good idea to have alternative actvities going on throughout the summer anyway. We are coming in from Atlanta for a baseball tournament for the 4th time out of the last 5 years. I have been to PC about 25 times since the mid 80’s and to be honest I get tired of the beach after a couple of days, so I prefer hitting the town and doing other things while I’m there, so the more events the better. I hope that most people keep there reservations as I enjoy the atmosphere that the big crowds bring.

Hopefuly, all of the local businesses make it thorugh this summer.

Good luck and God bless.


21 Bearabull June 12, 2010 at 5:25 pm

I forgot to mention on my first comment that I would love to see events year round and not just in the high season. We need to attract tourists during the non prime time.


22 Justin June 12, 2010 at 7:22 pm

Does anyone know how close the oil actually is to pcb? I am coming on the 19th regardless of oil or not. I just want to know what to expect. From the pics and videos it looks to be fine as of now.


23 beach guy June 13, 2010 at 2:33 pm

Another beautifull day of sand and water today, still have the southwest winds ,water is pushing from west to east with lots of seaweed starting to show up, so whatever oil is west of us is still moving this way.

My neighbors went out 50 miles offshore fishing last night and they said there are large areas of oil /sheen 20 miles out to the south of PCB.

Hope your vacation turns out well for you.


24 Brian N June 15, 2010 at 9:57 am

I went fishing 35 miles SW on Saturday and enver saw the first sign of oil- Just blueish green water with some weedlines full of fish that are typical in the summer- I believe the suggestion that there is oil within 20 miles of PCB right now is just not accurate. Reports from Destin are similar- no oil within 40-50 miles. The closest oil sheens reported are S. of Pensacola, close to a 100 miles to our west; tarballs have been found somewhat closer on the beaches of Navarre.


25 Blue Sun Properties June 13, 2010 at 6:34 am

We have recently modified our policy to allow for any cancellation due to oil as long as we get that in writing. It is just the right thing to do. My wife and I own 3 condos on PCB (2 at Aqua and 1 at Calypso) and I am sure we are going to feel it when the oil gets to the beach, but right now we are booked solid through the end of June and July is filling up too. We are getting over 100 inquiries daily for the last 2 weeks in June and July is picking up steam too. There are ball tournaments, dance tournaments, and various other activities where people need accommodations and are coming to Panama City Beach come hell or oil.

I agree that the TDC needs to do something to offer more to do than just the beach. I , like so many others on here, get a little bored with just the beach, but I always come back to the beach. I love sitting in a small chair close to the waters edge after the sun has set with a cold beer or a mixed drink. I love watching the families on the beach after dark with their flashlights because that transforms the beach into a magical place where anything can happen. I hate to see that go away. Sorry for rambling. I support the TDC plan.


26 Stephanie June 13, 2010 at 11:55 am

I think it’s a great idea to offer daily activities and festivities to PCB vacationers!! I have been coming to PCB for 20 years and now that I am a wife and mother of two, it can be very challenging to find cheap or free entertainment for kids, especially when we’ve accidentally overdone it on the beach. Parades, fireworks, local activities for kids would bring back the small town atmosphere that I used to feel when I hit the Bay County line. With all of the huge, expensive condos going up, it kinda takes the innocent fun of the beach away. I am all for it!!! Can’t wait!


27 Lindsey Mc June 13, 2010 at 7:28 pm

I have plans to come to PCB July 2-5. I live in a small town in Alabama, and come to PCB for the beach. My son is old enough this year to be ankle deep in the water, build sand castles, and look for crabs at night with a flashlight. I will be heart broken if the oil ruins his time! We considered Myrtle Beach for a while, but decided not to cancel. However, on another note, I think that the extra activities will be great!! Since we will most likely be spending less time on the beach, we will be looking for other ways to entertain everyone! Thanks for your efforts!!


28 Nick June 14, 2010 at 7:43 am

I’ll be in town next week. Hoping it is oil-free.

Some of the events actually sound fun. Live music is always welcome, and would draw people away from the beach and into the sights and sounds of PCB.


29 steve June 14, 2010 at 8:29 am

i think creating more options for tourists is always a good idea. festivals and concerts are a good idea and all but if there is oil on the beach or even close to the beach it will make no difference. i have been coming to pcb all my life and the beach is the only reason we return. deep sea fishing is another big ticket for us, if you take those two items away you have no product to offer. people can eat at restaurants and festivals in their own towns and neighboring cities. if you want to maintain your tourists my suggestion is to increase your available information about the conditions of your beaches and the predictions about the oil. the condos and hotels need to offer reimbursement for any days that are disrupted by the oil, even if it is just the unpleasant odor from the oil.


30 Tracy June 14, 2010 at 10:25 am

I have guest in town from Atlanta. They have told me the whole city of Atlanta thinks the oil is on the beaches here so they do not want to book rooms for fear of losing money and seeing oil. Why don’t we take this money and run some TV ads on the Atlanta stations giving an oil free guarantee. The Chateau Motel did it and it seems to be working. I saw their parking lot busy the other day. Lets give the residents there a reason to come here. They will come down if they know they will have an oil free vacation or be able to cancel reservations for a full refund if oil is on the beach. This seems like a win win situation.


31 JayRice June 14, 2010 at 12:04 pm

My wife and I have been coming to PCB for the past 15 years, and we are still planning on being there next week and we are spending 2 weeks instead of the normal 1 week. Having some additional activities would be a great idea, this is the first time that it will be just my wife and I and even though we enjoy the beach, it would be nice to have other things to do. We may be even looking at houses in the vicinity to retire to. We love PCB and know that there will be some tough months ahead, but the people are great and will bounce back once the crisis ends. PCB here we come!!


32 jamnolfin June 14, 2010 at 12:26 pm

James June 12, 2010 at 6:41 pm
Too much risk? Don’t buy rental property.

I know rental property is a risk and i will let my renters out from a agreement if theres oil on the beach. What i wont do is give them the opportunity to back out at the last minute for just any reason. Yes I am the jamnolfin from warchant.


33 Wayne June 14, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Hey Jam. Love your posts on warchant. I’ve been a member for about 8 or 9 years and am more of a lurker. I proably don’t have more than 300 posts over there. I really appreciate all the inside info you and some of the other posters provide.

As for the rental property, I think your policy is fair, but some places aren’t quite as fair. Once we are within 30 days of our arrival date, the rental agency I went through will only refund your money if the beach is actually closed. So, if there is oil on the beach or if the water is deemed unsafe, you will not get a refund unless the beach is actually closed. That is a tough pill to swallow. I really don’t want to cancel my reservation, but once I am within that 30 days I am stuck no matter what unless the beach is actually closed. With all the uncertainty on what the oil is going to do, people like me are really torn about what to do. If it was just me and the wife, I would say who cares, it’s vacation which is a heck of a lot better than work. However, I have three young kids who aren’t going to like not being able to play in the gulf.


34 Rehagen June 14, 2010 at 1:40 pm

Me and my family are coming down to PCB for summer vacaction as always first thing in july. I agree that it would be great to have the extra things to do while you are down there but the absolute main reason for a beach vacation is the beach. I could go to disney or some where else and enjoy pools, live music and parades. Yes i am still coming to PCB no matter what but i have read how so many condo owners are giving discounts for the next few months for people to book a room, what about the people who booked for those certain weeks several months ago. Why are you not going to offer those same discounts to people who already book and are still going to come down. Just my thought. See ya in July !


35 James D. June 14, 2010 at 7:06 pm

Kudos to the TDC and others for finally trying to “program” the summer months.

Lots of attention has gone into things like the Seabreeze Jazz Festival (Apr.) and PCB Seafood, Wine & Music Festival (Oct.) — even the winter months have a few things for the snowbird crowd. While individual establishments provide most of the off-the-water entertainment during the summer, it would be nice to have more events scattered about. The “Pier Park Summer Concert Series” is a great start, but that’s about it so far.

Also, how about a MASSIVE effort to repair and re-open The Treasure Ship?!!


36 James D. June 14, 2010 at 7:17 pm

Obviously The Treasure Ship is privately owned, but that shouldn’t stop people from continuing to express their support of the local attraction and significant landmark. I’ve read TONS of comments from all over the region (and beyond) on both local TV stations’ websites and here on PCBDaily. Clearly, it is a significant part of people’s annual vacation to PCB — and critical to the identity of the area.


37 mharris June 14, 2010 at 8:46 pm

We booked a $3000 condo on the beach for a reason. We go to Florida for the oceans and beaches. Pools, entertainment and other activities are available everywhere and for less. ResortQuest and others amending their refund policy “only if beaches are closed” is nothing more than a PR ploy. The city won’t close any beach until they are made to. It is not in their best short term interest. If PCB has tar balls, oily sheen on the ocean or smells like the oil fields of Texas, then their advertising of pristine beaches is false and we might as well book a ranch in Texas. ResortQuest will not offered to discount our rate. They say we will lose our deposit if we cancel (almost $400). If we wait until they close the beach, if they ever do, we might get our deposit back but have no time to find somewhere else to go. We have to schedule our vacation days by January and they are locked in. I do feel bad for all the damage the BP oil spill has and will cause to the coast of the USA. Somebody should go to jail. If we do decide to go to PCB ( to avoid the loss of our deposit) and the beaches are open but unusable we most certainly will seek financial reparations through litigation against all responsible parties, as should all who don’t get what they paid for. Your tourism board is just doing damage control. The city and business owners will file suits against BP, as they should. To continue to keep monies from customers who are not getting what they paid for (pristine beaches) is not right. I’m sorry Panama City Beach Tourism Board but if it wasn’t for the ocean and beaches I would have no reason to come to Florida. We get plenty of sun in Illinois, theme parks within a 2 hour drive and a Red Lobster just a few miles away, all of this many thousands of dollars cheaper than we would spend vacationing at a pristine beach in PCB. It’s been said “Theres alot of people that come here that never step foot in the water”. Why then are all of the much higher priced beach front properties always booked? It must be something about the water and the beach. It is prudent to find other things to sell beside the ocean and beach. The damage to the eco-system that has drawn so many to Florida is not even fully evident. I’m sorry, but once inland; Florida offers very little that can’t be found elsewhere. I know there are alligators, orange groves, palm trees and Disneyland but my point is oceans, beaches and sunshine are what Florida sells. Damn British Petroleum for their careless greed.


38 jm June 15, 2010 at 2:38 am

MHarris, I agree with you 100%. I have a wedding planned for Aug. and the resort refused to refund the $1,300 deposit that was sent to them. We were advised that we could have it several other different places on their property, but we cant plan for a beach wedding also, to much money.


39 scwolf69 June 15, 2010 at 12:25 pm

I as well agree 100%. I have already spent $3200.00 for june 19th through July 3rd and have been told I cant get a refund. However, I booked a small house right on the Gulf only for the water. My main form of entertainment for my kid’s was being able to swim in the Gulf. With what it cost to stay there I don’t have a tone of money left over to spend at all the area attractions. I’ll be spending roughly $600.00 just in gas to get there and back, I live in Michigan. So, at this point in time I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we beat the oil there!


40 JimmyT June 15, 2010 at 6:07 am

Coming to PCB this saturday no matter what.I get one vacation a year and PCB is it for my family> offered the wife alternate destinations and was bluntly told take a hike. LOL See you all in a few days. If we have we’ll help clean the oil if not I’ll just be asleep on the beach.


41 Susan June 15, 2010 at 8:21 am

to mharris. .
dude its Disney World not Disneyland 🙂


42 Beachside Resorts June 15, 2010 at 12:22 pm

Beachside wants to get the word out that we are offering 100% refunds if the oil were to affect our beaches in any way and $200 off future stays with Beachside Resorts. ($100 off for Sunbird)

For more information give us a call at 888-236-0750 or email us at info@staybeachside.com. We want visitors to continue coming to PCB and to let them know we appreciate their business and support of the area!

Log onto http://www.staybeachside.com to view all of our rental properties.


43 MARK June 15, 2010 at 3:48 pm

mharris-my buddy had the same situation only it was 300.00-he got ticked checked other Condos (and believe me right now some are willing to deal) and found one (and one of the newer ones) lost his 300 but saved 500-when he cancelled they had him sign a deal that it was the oil so they can go back and collect off BP-well if they think BP is going to pay all these claims they’re barking up the wrong tree-and I know they make millions or billions of dollars but what this is costing I would suspect they’ll file bankruptcy and open up under another name-that’s the way it usually happens. The whole thing is sad but the condo owners need to make some deals so the restaurants,water parks,golf courses and the whole economy in the panhandle don’t get totally burnt-just my view and me and my buddy are still coming down because we love PCB and the oil isn’t stopping us!


44 Jean June 15, 2010 at 6:09 pm

OPINIONS PLEASE? If there are tar balls or oil on the beach, should I just say goodbye to my $5,000 deposit to Sunspot Realty or pay an additional $7,000 to come? I have over 30 people coming, 2 very large beach houses, and 13 little kids. I have checked with Splash and they don’t offer to sell day passes. I only see one water park. Please help me evaluate. I love PCB and I feel for the businesses, but most of our money is tied up in these houses. We don’t have any more to spend – we were counting on pitching our shade on the beach, reading books and building sand castles. It doesn’t matter how short of a time I cancel. We paid (and possibly lost) the deposit in February so I’m willing to wait until D-day to cancel.


45 Jean June 15, 2010 at 8:22 pm

And also – no one is within less than a 9-hour drive


46 beach guy June 16, 2010 at 8:11 am

You still have some time to see how bad it gets, if predictions are right we will know by this weekend as to whats coming here. You should also know by then whether they will close the water/beaches or not depending on what hits the beaches .

This is a great site for tracking the oil and showing what beaches have been hit so far. http://gomex.erma.noaa.gov/erma.html#x=-85.80549&y=30.17659&z=5&layers=3782+3781+3783

I dont understand why these rental companies are holding vacationers hostage? Give the deposits back rental companies, you are going to get your money back from BP, where the tourists will not be able to get their deposits back from BP. For those who paid deposits with credit cards, check with your card company as far as doing a charge back.There are 4 reasons allowing charge back, here is the one that may apply to deposits.

“Quality – Consumer claims to have never received the goods as promised at the time of purchase.”

If the rental company promised beautiful beaches and water months ago, and thats not the case you should have np problem with the charge back. Just my opinion.


47 Judie June 16, 2010 at 2:35 pm

for those of you worried about Pools, we have a wonderful fun filled pool and a lap pool open to the public at Frank Brown Park. Plus a great playground and a snack bar available. The pool has a big slide for big kids and small slides for little ones including a play area in the middle of the kiddie pool. It is great, last time I was there it cost $4.00 a head for the whole day and you could come back and forth. Great for everyone and the kids love it.


48 Jean June 17, 2010 at 5:14 am

Judie – thanks a million for the pool tip! As much as I searched I could not find that on the web.

Beach guy – I agree completly with your thoughts on the rental companies. If this is what happens, I intend to file a claim with BP myself, but I may not go back with Sunspot.

My dad and I are going to come down a day early and stay at a cheap hotel and scope it out. The biggest thing is the odor. I can’t tolerate it physically if there’s any odor. If there is I’ll cancel that day. No point in cancelling early since I’ll lose the deposit if the beaches aren’t closed anyway.

Thanks again, folks!


49 Atlanta Guy June 18, 2010 at 9:26 am

Nice ideas for the summer…festivals, parades, etc…..however, none of those are fascinating enough to make someone drive 600 miles round trip and spend thousands of dollars for lodging.

Here is the problem: All of the major cities that supply tourists to PCB have better attractions at home. The shopping, amusement parks, summer concerts, fireworks, aquariums, sports….just about anything you can think of, are better in the big cities.

What you guys have is a beautiful beach…at least the parts not covered with giant condos….and beautiful water…..at least when it isn’t fouled by algae blooms (june grass) or oil.

Last year Atlantans started doing two things after Florida and Alabama decided to cut off Atlanta’s water. We began taking what we call “staycations” where we enjoy all of the attractions we have within a 50 mile radius of the city. Many of us also began taking our vacations aklong the Georgia or Carolina coasts or in the mountains.

Since your own TDC estimates Atlantans account for over 5 million tourist visits a year it might be a good idea to start treating Atlantans as if you actually like them.


50 taryn June 18, 2010 at 9:23 pm

Hello Everyone Who is Going to Read This!!
Unfortunately my friends and I are not so lucky. The lady that we rented the house through is not going to give us our payment back only $500 of the $2907. I have had only a short conversation with her and I thought she said to me on the phone was that we would be receiving it all back minus $500 of it which I thought was understandable. So then later that week she sends me an email saying that we will forfeit everything. So I was totally confused after I read her email. So now this week I have tried contacting her to cancel it and she hasn’t returned my emails nor my phone calls.
The reason we were canceling in the first place was because so many of our friends backed out due the oil spill and it was about a month away from our vacation. They did so because they think the oil is unpredictable and they didn’t want it to ruin there vacation.
What should I do if the person I rented through doesn’t give us our money back? Should we go or should we fight for our money? Someone please give me an answer!


51 beach guy June 19, 2010 at 7:57 am

Its official, we were hit with tarballs here in PCB last night. I havent seen the affected area but its on the news. Good luck to everyone stil coming.


52 SkierScott June 19, 2010 at 3:06 pm

I’m from Atlanta and just purchased a place about the same time the accident happened. Festivals and other activities are great and I think help encourage tourists but the immediate problem we have now is that nobody wants to take the chance on a vacation there refund or not. So, I have no inquiries. Not a single one and many others in the complex have had cancellations and no replacements.

I want to know why there aren’t more boats skimming on the front lines of the oil. I don’t want to take resources away from the skimmers at the drill sight but it doesn’t appear that there is anything being done to keep it from hitting the beach. I know there is boom but it can’t hold everything back and we probably don’t have enough of it but unless we can prove to potential vacationers that the oil won’t hit the beach this season is done from a vacation rental perspective. No renters for many of us that didn’t have any bookings this season. I know personally of 6 different families that have made alternate plans so multiply that by every condo renter and that is a ton of people.

More footage of how many tar balls are hitting and that they aren’t a big deal needs to be shown. I grew up in Southern California and had tar residue on me all the time…never a big deal and we just used finger nail polish to get it off me. How do we let everyone know that the beach isn’t going to get covered in a thick sludge and even if some tar is found it isn’t likely to close the entire beach?


53 beach guy June 19, 2010 at 6:53 pm

I went to the beach again this morning and there wasnt any oil in the Bid A wee area.By my estimate its one of the biggest weekends so far this year. Almost all the hotels had no vacancy signs up. From my perspective more and more people are shifting away from condos and staying in the hotels instead.Hotels will let you cancel with a 24 hour notice,and only charge a $25 cancellation fee while the condos wont do that.

I saw a lady sitting on the hood of her car at Walmart with a big white sign saying condo for rent, that right there pretty much tells the whole condominium situation. Hope it works out for you.


54 redcindie June 24, 2010 at 11:43 am

I am interested in a vacation to PCB. Anyone know of any deals. I understand the oil situation and I really like to fish but to just get away would be nice even if it does mean we can’t swim or fish. I am also straped on funds anyway so if there is an affordable deal I am interested.


55 redcindie June 24, 2010 at 12:00 pm

O I forgot to give my email redcindie@yahoo.com if you know of a deal or have one email me redcindie


56 PCBorBUST June 24, 2010 at 5:30 pm

We are coming and bringing our whole family! 14 of us in all. LOVE PCB!
Hoping the beaches won’t be closed but we have so many traditions at PCB and there is lots to do. We love the Maze, the putt putt, Pineapple Willy’s and Sharky’s to name a few. Mostly just love getting away and being together. Looking forward to those beautiful Sunsets!!! Have had reservations since Dec. Looking forward to the new Pier. Will be there the week of July 4th. HAVE FIREWORKS PLEASE!!!! Have promised the kids!


57 Debra Grammer June 24, 2010 at 7:21 pm

How about rebuilding Miracle Strip? That in itself was a PCB attraction that should have been kept up. Gulf Shores has an amusement park, but our history is with PCB. My grandsons would love it and I’d visit it daily on my vacation. Thanks.


58 Amyjoern9 June 24, 2010 at 8:03 pm

I think this is the greatest idea…we have vacationed in Florida for the past 10 years and can’t wait until the next…

thank you so much for sharing your homes with us the way you do…

there are those of us that will definately not leave you now when you need us the most…

Our prayers are with you always…each and every day…

A diehard Florida Panhandle Fan


59 Softballmom June 30, 2010 at 12:21 pm

Our group is scheduled to be in PCB the week of July 17th. This is our 4th year to come there for a girls fastpitch softball tournament. I agree with so many posts on this site. We have 13 condo’s reserved since January… approx. 60 people… Yes we are coming for a specific event but the rest of our time in the past years has been spent at the beach. Put up the pop up shade, bring out the sand toys, fill the coolers with “beverages” and ENJOY! This year we are very concerned. All of our condo’s are in one complex, but are not all rented from the same management companies. So many of you posting have talked about the expense of the beachfront condo and how after that cost there is not much left for all of the extras that people are saying we can do. Mini golf, go-karts, water parks, etc. are all still very expensive. Where are those people at when it comes to offering discounts/coupons on their services. By the sime you pay 3 grand for a 3bdrm ocean front condo, and the 4 trips to the Wally Mart at $200 each, and the $600 in gas to get there, most of us have then spent our vacation budget. We are not cancelling, I would just like to be able to tell everyone in our group that I have found coupons and discounts on the other stuff to do in PCBeach. A softball team of 18 year old young women will undoubtedly be doing some shopping along with their hours of time at the beach.(Stimulating the PCB economy) The week that all of these teams are in PCBeach we should be getting some sort of a deal on the other activities. Most of these teams won’t cancel because they are here to win a softball tournament. The PCBeach tourism website should be getting all of the businesses in the community to offer some deals. Let’s face it… THE BEACH AND THE OCEAN ARE what everyone is coming there for. We could have played in tournaments all over the midwest during this week… Peoria IL, Chattanooga TN, Hutchison KS, etc. And they all have mini golf, water parks, swimming pools, sun, and softball. We choose to come to PCBeach for… you guessed it… THE BEACH.


60 Sheila Boston July 7, 2010 at 2:54 pm

I would love to have things going on all day long on the beaches, I remember years ago they did, when the little mom and pops where there before Hurricane Andrews. Daquri shacks all along the beaches, we stayed at the Beachcomber for many years and they had watermelon each afternoon, sand castle building contest with ribbons, dive contest in the pool, and all kinds of things. Would love to see more thatched umbrellas and tables along the beach also.