Winter Guest SUNCARD = Good Deals for the Snowbirds

by December 29, 2008 • 4 comments

Hosted by the Convention and Visitors Bureau, winter residents from Canada, the Midwest, Northeast and other parts of the United States will be treated to complimentary coffee and donuts from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. on Friday, January 16th.  The Visitor Information Center is located at the corner of Hwy 98 and Hwy 79 in Panama City Beach.  Additional complimentary coffee & donut days are scheduled for January 30th, February 13th & February 27th.

Starting on Friday, December 19th, Convention and Visitors Bureau personnel were on-hand to issue the official Winter Resident “SunCard” to new winter residents and repeat winter residents during regular business hours, Monday through Sunday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.  Panama City Beach winter residents can use their free SunCard throughout the area for value added programs and discounts at participating restaurants, hotels, and other area attractions and events.

“The purpose of this program is to extend a warm welcome to all our winter residents and let them know how much we appreciate them here in Panama City Beach,” stated Dan Rowe, President and CEO of the Panama City Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We look forward to rolling out the welcome mat on Friday to our seasonal guests.”

The annual SunCard program will run from Dec. 19, 2008 through March 30, 2009.

Participating attractions and retailers are below:


  • Country Inn & Suites, ph. 850-249-4747
    • 10% off rack rates.
  • Flamingo Motel, ph. 850-234-2232
    • A warm smile, a free cup of coffee and a sincere appreciation.
  • Oaseas Resorts, ph 850-249-0109
    • Shores of Panama.  35% of spa services. 850.636.9669 (Advanced appointments required)
  • The Resort Collection of Panama City Beach, ph. 850– 563-1000
    • 30% off a 3 mo. Membership to The Majestic Beach Resort fitness center.


  • Breakers, ph. 850-234-6060
    • 10% off (does not include gratuity or alcohol, discount for card bearer, only)
  • Harpoon Harry’s, ph. 850-234-6060
    • 10% off (does not include gratuity or alcohol discount for card bearer, only)
  • Captain Jack’s, ph. 850-236-8555
    • 10% off (does not include gratuity or alcohol, discount for card bearer, only)
  • Bishops Family Buffett, ph. 850-233-1174
    • 10% off (does not include gratuity or alcohol, discount for card bearer, only )
  • Calypso, ph. 850-234-6788
    • 15% off (does not include gratuity or alcohol)
  • David’s Sno-Balls & Beignets, ph. 850-236-1998
    • (New Orleans style ), 15% off
  • Sandpiper Beacon Tiki Bar, ph. 850-234-2154
    • $1 drafts, 4 to 6 pm daily,  2-4-1 drinks
  • Shuckum’s Oyster Pub, ph. 850-235-3214
    • $1 draft, $7.95 Lunch Special, $9.95 Dinner Specials
  • The Back Porch, ph. 850-233-1750
    • 20% off entire check  (not valid with any other offers, discounts or specials)
  • Triple J Steakhouse, ph. 850-233-9514
    • 10% off (does not include gratuity or alcohol)


  • Bay Seaplanes & Airboat Tours, ph. 850-234-1532
    • 1/2 hr Airboat Tour for group of 4 or more $15pp   (Reservation required)
  • Gulf World Marine Park, ph. 850-234-5271
    • 25% off general admission
    • 25% off swim with Dolphin & trainer for a day
  • Hombre Golf Club, ph. 850-234-3673
    • $10 off next greens fee (cannot to be combined with any other offer)
  • Paint ‘N Place, ph. 850-585-4712
    • 20% off highest item @ time of purchase
  • Panama City Beach Aquatic Center, ph. 850-236-2205
    • 20 visit passes buy one get  one ½ price  ($65 value)
  • Rocket Lanes, ph. 850-249-2695
    • Game of bowling $3.  Shoe rental $1.50, 7 days a week


  • The News Herald, ph. 850-747-5050
    • Subscriptions: 4 weeks for $10, 8 weeks for $20 or 12 weeks for $30.

Commentary – Thinking about the list of discounts.  What did you have to do to get on this list.  What about pcbdaily?  12 weeks of the newsletter, FREE!  What about the Flamingo Motel, “A warm smile, a free cup of coffee and a sincere appreciation.”????  What is that all about?  I would be embarrassed to advertise that as my special.  Most of the discounts are pretty good, but Captain Jacks isn’t even open again until March.  Why are they on this list?  Jack has on his marquee C U March.  Kudos to Back Porch for offering 20% off entire check without the alcohol stipulation.

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1 John December 30, 2008 at 8:48 am

One of the things the TDC should consider in thier development plan is the Snowbirds. I am not sure
I saw it in there.

We are starving for visitors in the months they want to be here, Nov-Mar. *

The biggest cost for Canadian Snowbirds to come here, believe it or not, is Health Insurance.

Because of the Government health care plan in Canada, they must have a supplemental insurance to come here to cover the cost of out of country care and a return flight home. The cost of that insurance can run $2000-$3000 for the winter ($400-$600/mo).

The tourist council that breaks the code on lowering this cost for the Snowbirds will see a significant increase in the winter population. – and it’s all short term, so there is a rebate in any such plan due to the TDT required…if we collect it.

As I understand it, about 40% of the potential cost that is bdgeted in the insurance is for a medical evacuation flight home (@$20,000); 60% is for health care to treat or at least stabilize the patient ($30,000).

If, for example, we had, at the new airport, an aeromedical evacuation service with reduced rates or even as a county
chartered service (like the helicopter we have), it may save 30-40% on insurance costs.

With such a savings, we could demonstrate a case for and/or negotiate a reduced rate for this area.

We would also, even with just the aeromedical evacuation, step up to services that are available with other airports.

In addition, it may be possible, by subsidizing a charter or nonscheduled airline service, to attract such a carrier here. I am talking about the type of company that offers business travel at the executive level. There are some already flying out of other airports between Tallahassee and Pensacola. We should have ours, too.

If, somehow, we found a way to reduce rates for health care on top of that, it would be a bonus, but a 50% overall reduction is a heck of an incentive (40% on the airomedical evacuation cost, 10% on the Medical cost). Don’t have any ideas there, though…

Hey, why not ask some of them
to serve on a committee to develop
some ideas?


*(ok, we have spring break in March, but I would rather have a Snowbird than someone who will wreck my house).


2 Ron December 30, 2008 at 11:39 pm

Let’s see if I’ve got this right. You want to subsidize a group that is already subsidized by their own government. Socialism is alive and well in Canada. Millions of Americans can’t afford their own health insurance and you would offer assistance to Canadians to primarily fund enticements for condo owners that probably are drowning in their condos, in most cases from unwise or ill-advised purchases. Many American’s retirement, savings and health insurance have been wiped out. There are fewer and fewer opportunities for jobs. I fail to see local businesses falling over themselves to provide freebies for locals, many of whom are struggling much more than the birds. I mean they are able to take an extended vacation from the cold aren’t they. The locals contribute much more to the local economy than snowbirds ever will and I don’t think I can remember a single one asking me for a free cup of coffee.

I do urge you to run for political office though. You’ll fit right in with that humble group of people that believe in helping outside interests at the expense of the Main Street American Taxpayer.


3 John December 31, 2008 at 10:06 am

Awesome comments, Ron.
You might have gotten it right
if you had given it any thought.

One underlying point that you have not stated but implied and I will concede – these folks are cheap. More on that later. But I will not concede that you get to pick and choose in the slow season. More on that later, also.

A second point I did not state that my intent was to fund this from the TDT, not the Main Street American Taxpayer.
But where have you been ? Just about every discussion in this forum about tourists here has been in the context of the TDC and TDT revenues.

Other than that
1. Get your facts straight.
The health insurance they have to buy is out of thier pocket, not only is there NO subsidy there, it’s kinda scary to think we may end up in the same position if government health care becomes a part of our system. Kinda restricts your freedom of movement – like a fence or a wall, doesn’t it? My proposal would help put a hole in that wall. That is as conservative as it gets, a-la Ronald Reagan.

Don’t know who you talked to, but I typically get invited over for Christmas dinner, and any time I stop in, I get a free cup of coffee if I want it. I also get a free deep cleaning of my property, and inventory and inspection of the items that should be fixed. They are great for keeping the place in order. I have never been asked for a free anything, let alone a free cup of coffee.

Spend a week or so in 0 to 10 degree weather and see if you would find a way to come down here when it is warm – say 40 degrees. For senior citizens, it is almost not the luxury you want to call it.

The aeromedical service I am proposing is something most large areas have in some form and that we already have in a smaller form (helicopter). Did you even read this, or did you miss that before going emotionally berserk?

These folks are not socialists, by the way. They typically are business folks who know how to drive a bargain, have worked hard and are quite active. They are also very often of scottish descent. Read that as “thrifty”. Sorry if you are too inflexible to undestand the difference in cultures.

2. BTW, Tell us where you are coming from.
I am an independent home owner who rents to Canadians. I could and have done long term rental with these houses. I am certainly not in any pain over them. Who are you? What is your background? MTV? Spring Break Repair? Don’t care if your place sits idle? Too dumb to understand that capitalism is about making money and a day of rental revenue lost – in any season – is lost for good?
3. Consider alternatives.
Canadians like to stay through spring break, so that is one alternative to that mess, unless you run a business that repairs the damage the spring break folks do.

Would you rather this money go to MTVu?

Have you considered that it is much easier to police TDT collection from the rentals from these folks than from the weekly or 3 day rentals?

What is your alternative – no winter visitors? Where do you think you will get any visitors? Working folks are doing just that – working, except for two weeks a year if they are lucky.

4. These folks are here when no one else is.
If you have not noticed, darn near everything here closes in the winter. Typically in November, reopening in the spring – Jan/Feb. Is occupoancy even 10% – any condo owner I have spoken to would like to have snowbirds. Many, however, do not understand the market price fluctuation due to supply and demand – and that, sir, is pure capitalism.

5. Not interested.
I have been told to run for office since the early 90’s.
I refuse to do that because I would have to waste time responding to idiotic, ill considered, hateful comments like yours.


4 Mcomes March 18, 2010 at 12:49 pm

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