Pier Park Grand Opening was a Smash Hit

by February 16, 2008 • 8 comments

The Grand Opening of Pier Park on Thursday, February 14 was a huge hit with literally thousands of shoppers enjoying the new shops. When I was there on Thursday evening, the parking was full on the Boardwalk area with a pretty heavy flow of traffic coming down the main street. You almost wouldn’t know that it was the first day it was opened. A total of 18 stores opened on Thursday with more to open this weekend and next week.

Click the “more” link for the rest of the post.

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On Friday, Simon released the following:


Out on the Boardwalk…Several new stores have opened this week at Pier Park, Simon Property Group’s new 900,000-square-foot retail and entertainment lifestyle center located in Panama City Beach, Florida. Nearly 20 stores officially opened to the public on Valentine’s Day and experienced strong sales with heavy foot-traffic. Even more retailers are expected to open this weekend.

Nothing Small About It…Georgeann Smith and Brandy Lister, co-owners of tatoe tots…a children’s clothing specialty shop named after Lister’s godchild…said sales exceeded their expectations. “We were thrilled with the number of people who shopped in our store and shared positive feedback,” said Lister. “We doubled our sales goal!”

No Tall Tales…”We had more than a 1,000 shoppers come through the doors, with more than 500 visitors within the first two hours,” said Cindy Stephens, owner of Fish Tales. Fish Tales specializes in beach-themed décor and jewelry. Fish Tales kicked off their opening by serving complimentary mimosas. Stephens said that they went through 40 bottles of Champagne.

Burgers of Love…Five Guys Famous Hamburgers & Fries franchise owner Blake Geoghan and his staff had been slammed at lunch on their opening day Thursday. They ran out of seating and patrons were waiting for 30-45 minutes for a table. In fact during one 90-minute period, a lunchtime record for the chain was set.
But certainly on Valentine’s night, this outstanding fast casual eatery would slow up, right? Wrong. “The shocking thing,” Geoghan reports, “is that we had people standing out the door at dinner, too.” Geoghan and his staff had a great day. “It exceeded our wildest expectations,” he said. “It was fabulous.”
Mayor Oberst of Panama City Beach was among the first-day diners at Five Guys.

OOM PA!!…One hundred people were waiting outside the doors of Hofbrau Beer Garden in advance of Thursday’s 5 p.m. opening. Inside, staff was working feverishly to greet them. Managing partner Hans Weissgerber said it came down to the last five minutes. “There are a lot of challenges involved in getting opened,” he said. But it certainly was worth it. By the end of the evening 400 people had been served and the party had raged on with group singing and dancing on the tables.
“It’s nice to open the doors and be full at day one,” Weissgerber said. “It’s also nice to know that all of the efforts you’ve made to get open were appreciated by the Panama City Beach community, which seems to truly embrace and appreciate our brand of good Bavarian fun.”

Opening at Pier Park today, February 15, 2008:

Bebo’z Gifts & Collectibles
Mermaid Trading Co.

More Stores Premiering in February and March at Pier Park:


Old Navy

Specialty Shops:

Beach Scene
Bootleg Barbeque
Del Sol
Guglielmo’s Italian Restaurant
Jake at the Beach
Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville
Massage Envy
Merle Norman Cosmetics
Payless Shoes
Ron Jon Surf Shop
Smoothie King
Southern Waters Outfitters
The Back Porch
Trader Tom’s
ULTA Beauty

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1 Lou Columbus February 19, 2008 at 6:49 am

Great photos! Thanks for the updates.


2 netter February 19, 2008 at 10:08 am

We were there Saturday and it was beautiful! What a wonderful addition to an already lovely place!


3 Jack February 19, 2008 at 12:57 pm

We went tp Pier Park this weekend.It exceeded all expectations.We really look forward to spending money there this summer.What is the date for Margaritaville-is there a possibility of Jimmy Buffet?


4 Jack February 19, 2008 at 12:58 pm

We went to Pier Park this weekend.It exceeded all expectations.We really look forward to spending money there this summer.What is the date for Margaritaville-is there a possibility of Jimmy Buffett?


5 Stacy & Flop February 20, 2008 at 7:03 pm

Just what PCB needed! We visited there last week and Pier Park was so full of energy! We can’t wait to visit again once more shops have opened! Best of luck to all who committed to this project!


6 William J. Grumbley March 3, 2008 at 12:03 pm

This beautiful complex is long overdue! PCB needs many more of the same as it heads toward World Class status. With the Airport and Pier Park, we love what this is doing to PCB. Don’t stop now!


7 Gillihan June 7, 2008 at 3:00 pm

This is really great, I love it! I hope they know why this does so well, it’s the building method: no set backs of the buildings, sidewalks, roadside parking, (there is a lot more to it but I wont list everything) But this formula is nothing new we use to use it everywhere your own hometown has one of these and it’s called your historic downtown and if it’s well preserved you can get the same experience as Peir Park. Though, one thing I would like to see is in the future that Seahaven and Peir Park merge seamlessly into one “town” and not treated as separate “developments” that can’t have anything to do with each other; which for some reason I have a feeling that it will happen. (they would fuel each other Seahaven will have residential)