Panama City 2017 Update
If you are looking to do Spring Break on the cheap in 2017, Panama City Beach may be the best destination to look for a bargin. Some hotels are already adverting 7 night packages for as low as $179 per person.
Even with the new “Spring Break Sumptuary Laws” College Spring Breakers staying at the Holiday Inn and hitting Club La Vela at night seemed to have a pretty good time as evidensed in this Youtube clip.
In response to the growing number of arrests in recent years and the negative national publicity Panama City Beach during March of 2015, several new “Spring Break Sumptuary Laws” were passed and rigorisly enforced in 2016. Spring Breakers responded to the crackdown on beach drinking and earlier bar closing hours by choosing other destinations for their Spring Break. As a result, hotel bookings were down 41% and the local economy took an estimated $85 million loss according to the Bay County Tourist Development Council (TDC).
The new March ordances were effective and the Bay County Sheriffs Department's activity on Panama City Beach as posted on Facebook account showed a significant reduction in service calls and arrests in 2016 as compared to the prior year.
Fortunately for Panama City Beach, gasoline prices this summer were at the lowest they have been in 11 years and according to the AAA, “The great American road trip was officially back”. Florida had 85 million tourists during the first nine months of the year, a 5.5 percent increase over last year and the highest tourism count ever recorded from January to September. As a result, Panama City Beach community almost recovered from the March revenue loss. Dan Rowe, executive director at the (TDC) said for the year the their tourist tax revenue was off by less than 0.7 percent.
Panama City Beach’s hotels, bars and the Tourist Development Council have spent millions of dollars to build and promote PCB as the “Ultimate Spring Break Destination.” The mix of bars, clubs, hotels and condos is unmatched by any other domestic Spring Break destination except Las Vegas. It is unfortunate that a few criminals made it necessary for these temporary changes in March.