Spring Break IS Upon Us

by February 27, 2009 • 5 comments

_mg_6742Every year, at the beginning of spring break, I’m always glad to see the life pumped back into Panama City Beach.  The Beach Wal-Mart is packed with young energy, the streets are pumping with life and local businesses are happy the winter months are over and they can start living again.  Of course, I’m always glad to see them go at the end as well.

“As little as four weeks ago, we were a little worried,” said Russ Smith, Vice President of Resort Operations.  He went on to say that over the last couple of weeks, things have picked up and it looks like at this time, occupation is right on par with last year over the entire spring break, but the times in which visitors are coming in have shifted.  “I don’t know if it was the recent warnings about going to Mexico that’s given us the boost or just late planning on the part of the college kids.”

“Everyone seems to be cautiously optimistic this year,” says Dana Lent, Communications Manager for the Panama City Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau.  “The proof is in the pudding, we’ll see how the numbers really pan out when we see the bed tax collections.”

What is mostly empty now, Sharky’s Beachfront Restaurant will be filled with spring breakers tomorrow night and in just 8 days time the local beach club will be jam packed.

For the first year ever, Sharky’s will play host to beach tennis and beach volleyball that will ultimately culminate in a professional tournament with professional volleyball players such as 2008 Olympic gold medalists Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers.  Beach tennis will start off on Sunday March 1st and players can battle it out until March 18th.

This next upcoming week is really the first “big” week of spring break, with this past week having students from Michigan and Canada here in small numbers.  Next week just under a half million students will be on spring break across the country and the week after around 1.8 million will be on spring break around the country.  Note to other media that has gotten these numbers confused in the past – I said “around the country”, not necessarily coming here.

This year should be a fun year.  There is a lot of emphasis on family spring break (another article coming on that!) and there are quite a few family activities coming up.

Check below for a complete list of colleges on spring break this week, courtesy of TripSmarter.com:

March 2-6, 2009 (Mon-Fri)

College / University

Enrollment

Alverno College

2,654

Barry University

9,324

Beloit College

1,300

Bennett College

572

Bethune-Cookman College

2,895

Bishop’s University

1,817

Boston College

13,723

California University of Pennsylvania

7,728

Cambrian College

4,401

Clark University

2,883

College of Charleston

11,320

Duquesne University

10,184

Fairfield University

4,935

Florida A&M University

12,792

Florida Atlantic University

26,245

Georgia State University

27,134

Grand Valley State University

25,000

Greensboro College

1,233

Lebanon Valley College

1,906

Lehigh University

6,836

Loyola College, Maryland

6,131

Loyola University, Chicago

15,545

Mary Baldwin College

2,242

Moore College of Art and Design

493

North Carolina A&T

11,103

North Carolina State University

31,130

Pepperdine University

6,053

Rice University

4,195

Rocky Mountain College

898

Saint Cloud State University

17,173

Saint Francis University

2,121

Schoolcraft College

10,213

Silver Lake College

1,000

Stetson University

2,273

Universite du Quebec (Montreal)

40,624

University of Evansville

2,350

University of Virginia

20,190

Valparaiso University

3,874

Villanova University

9,335

Virginia Western Community College

9,000

Western Carolina University

11,000

Western Michigan University

24,433

Wingate University

2,041

Xavier University

6,500

TOTAL

412,581

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1 Lori Duncan February 28, 2009 at 11:10 am

Well, we managed to fill the March calendar for our condo quite nicely this year. We only lack renters for the first 6 days of March. All of our renters are families, thankful to have a quiet place to stay. You see, it is possible to provide a nice spring vacation to families. Granted, I did receive countless phone calls and emails from college kids, but I honestly and firmly explained to them our policy. Every single one of them was very understanding and thanked me for being upfront about it. With everything PCB has to offer, there is no reason everyone shouldn’t have a good time.

A note on bed tax increases. We decided to keep our prices the same as last year, and we are taking the hit instead of our guests. That means we are actually reducing our prices. Since we have already booked half of May, all of June and July, we couldn’t really contact our incoming guests and ask for more money. Oh I don’t think I would have had any cancel, but I do think we’ll have to adjust next year’s prices. Our guests booked before the bed tax increase was voted on. Not happy about it, but what can we do?

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2 Bob March 1, 2009 at 2:10 pm

Lori, how do you advertise you’re condo for rent ? My Mom and Dad have a nice 3 bedroom condo over at Orange Beach and have never rented it before but are thinking of doing so this year. Bob C. carltonpropertiesinc@comcast.net

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3 Allan March 2, 2009 at 12:29 am

Bob…I will try to find the post but there was a article on here a few months back where Lori gave great advice. Lori do you have the link?

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4 Allan March 2, 2009 at 12:32 am

Just kidding..Here it is http://pcbdaily.com/?p=2199

Hope it helps ya!
Allan

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5 Lori Duncan March 3, 2009 at 8:56 am

Thanks Allan, I actually emailed Bob those links too! Bob, I hope you have a great year of rentals!

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