Audubon Nature Center in WestBay and the New Airport Name

Dr. Ed Wright, former Dean for FSU-PC and fellow blogger publishes a blog specifically on WestBay, Florida.  He offers a very informed opinion and provides an excellent source for facts on the goingson in the WestBay area. 

Some of his recent posts include:

A Regional Airport?  – There was a very interesting article in Sunday’s News Herald (11/4/07) about the need for the new airport to have a regional name and identity. This is definitely something we should discuss and consider.

Friday at the Beach to Highlight Audubon Nature Center  – On November 9th, the Panama City Beaches Chamber’s Friday at the Beach breakfast will feature Linda Macbeth from Florida Audubon. Linda will discuss Audubon’s plans to build a world class nature center in West Bay.

For those that have not noticed, I have a spot in the sidebar that displays RSS feeds directly from his blog,  Whenever you are on, you can see the latest on his blog.  To read the entire post, just click on the title and it will take you to the WestBay Florida blog.

Thanks Ed, for all the valuable information and input you publish on

Foreclosure rates continue to rise

It isn’t hard to find negative news on the current state of the real estate market. We were talking in the office yesterday about how almost daily there is a new article about the foreclosure rate climbing, lending getting more difficult, etc. The latest I read on was that the foreclusure rate (nationally) in quarter 3 was 30% higher than quarter 2 and almost doubled from quarter 3 of 2006. This is said to be affecting 1 in 196 households. Nevada had the highest foreclosure rate – 1 in 61 households – tripled from quarter 3 in 2006. California had the second highest foreclosure rate – 1 in 88 households – four times what it was in quarter 3 in 2006. Numerically California was the highest with 94,772 filings in the third quarter. Florida was the third highest – 1 in 95 households – doubling from third quarter last year with 86,465 total filings

How long is it going to take to get out of this glut? Many have said that we have to get through all the foreclosures first. How long will that take? The problem with this is that it has not and will not be a quick process. In addition, the foreclosures add to the already too-full pool of inventory on the market.

Right now consumer confidence is down. Even the savvy investors are afraid to purchase now because they are worried that their purchase may go down in the coming months from what they bought it at.

Where is the light in all this? The light is in buying right now. I know this is what all the Realtors are saying right now, and of course it has some motivation to keep the paychecks flowing, but it has a lot of truth to it. The fact is, right now property can be bought at sometimes pennies on the dollar. If an opportunity comes around to make a purchase that will cashflow, you should take it in a second. You can’t worry about whether you’ll lose $10k in value over the next year, you have to look at the 3 to 5 year upside, or even more. Real estate was never a good short term investment, and the market over the last few years influenced people to forget that. Real estate becomes a good investment when you can generate more money on a regular basis than you are paying out. If you can cashflow $50 a month, you can have as many as you want and you’ll only make more money. Now I understand that there is more involved (like having enough for emergency reserves, etc.), but this is a simple example.

Now is a great time to buy, that’s the positive. It stinks for people like me who are trying to sell their home, but it is a great time to buy.

State economists say recovery is farther away than expected

“The housing-driven economic slump that made Florida legislators cut $1.1 billion from the state budget last month isn’t getting worse, but it will last “a lot longer” than expected, state economists said Friday.

No hard dollar amounts came out of the two-hour round table by top fiscal forecasters from the Legislature and governor’s office.

But planners made some downward revisions of their July forecasts amid gloomy forecasts that consumer spending, wages, auto sales, tourism, fuel costs and other leading economic indicators will languish longer in the trough dug by the slowed housing and construction markets.

Amy Baker, coordinator of the Economic and Demographic Research Office, said at least a few factors were forecast in July to begin recovery next year. But she and Frank Williams, an economist in her office, said it will be late 2009 before the economy really revives. . .” (more)

New Director for the TDC Chosen

Daniel Rowe, the former Deputy Commissioner for Tourism for the state of Georgia, was hired to be the director of the Bay County Tourist Development Council. His resume includes almost 20 years in resort management, marketing and tourism consulting. In Georgia, he served as the Chief Executive and Managing Director of the Tourism Development Alliance of Georgia before he was the Deputy Commissioner for Tourism. He also helped found Banyan Tree Consulting Group, a public affairs and marketing company that specialized in working with tourism clients.

He is scheduled to start middle of November.

Panama City Bay County International Airport Relocation Groundbreaking Ceremony

The official ceremonial groundbreaking occurred Thursday morning at the new Panama City International Airport Site in WestBay, FL. We have been waiting for this day for a long time, and over 1,000 were in attendance. This marks the beginning of a long road of construction, but the end of an even longer road of waiting. There ceremony was around an hour long and I was able to record the whole event. I’ve got a series of videos below, and I’ll be adding more as I get them made. The first is a 7 minute “summary” video. The ones that follow are broken down to speaker specific. At the end will be the whole event in one video. I will have it in a small media format and a larger media format for you to download. It may take some time to download.

Pictures to come as well.


Download Windows Media File: 60mb 7:02

State Representative Marti Coley

Download Windows Media File: 56mb 2:45

Eric Draper – Audubon of Florida Policy Director

Download Windows Media File: 41mb 5:45

Governor Charlie Crist

Download Windows Media File: 28mb 3:42

Airport Authority Chairman Joe Tannehill

Download Windows Media File: 61mb 8:43

Ground Breaking

Download Windows Media File: 21mb 1:42

Panama City Airport Relocation Groundbreaking Pictures Panama City Airport Relocation Groundbreaking Pictures Panama City Airport Relocation Groundbreaking Pictures
Panama City Airport Relocation Groundbreaking Pictures Panama City Airport Relocation Groundbreaking Pictures Panama City Airport Relocation Groundbreaking Pictures
Panama City Airport Relocation Groundbreaking Pictures Panama City Airport Relocation Groundbreaking Pictures Panama City Airport Relocation Groundbreaking Pictures
Panama City Airport Relocation Groundbreaking Pictures