Baja Grill Grand Opening in Pier Park

Baja Grill will be holding their official Grand Opening this weekend at Pier Park in Panama City Beach.  In addition to live entertainment from Friday through Sunday this weekend, Baja will also have specials on food and drinks.

Baja Grille/Pier Park offers a relaxing and warm experience with Southwest and Caribbean influenced menu selections. Known for exceptional dishes with the freshest ingredients, Baja Grille’s menu ranges from oh-so-tasty fruit smoothies to fresh seafood and deliciously grilled steak.

Entertainment Schedule

Chris Godber – Smooth Jazz Saxophonist
Friday, October 24, 2008     5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

“The Classics with Wayne and Joey” – Singing Duo
Saturday, October 25, 2008     6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Sunday, October 26, 2008     6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Baja Grill is located in the same shopping block as Panera Bread in Pier Park.  Their number is 850-230-6881.

Spring Break MTVu Partnership to be Discussed

At Tuesday’s TDC meeting, on the discussion board is the consideration of a partnership with MTVu again this next spring break season.

I look forward to much discussion this spring break season, and the months preceeding it.  The read all about last years spring break season, be sure to read up under the Spring Break category.   There was quite a bit of sprited discussion, to say the least.

Without further ado, the agenda:

AGENDA

MARKETING COMMITTEE MEETING
Panama City Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc.
Panama City Beach

Tuesday, October 28, 2008                 1:00 p.m.        Board Room, Visitor Information
Center

I.    CALL MEETING TO ORDER

II.    ROLL CALL

III.    REQUESTS TO ADDRESS THE COMMITTEE ON AGENDA ITEMS (3 Minutes)

IV.    DISCUSS & CONSIDER  2009 SPRING BREAK MTVU PARTNERSHIP PROPOSAL – Susan Estler, VP Marketing/Janet Ray, Y Partnership

V.    AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

VI.    ADJOURNMENT

View pdf

CRA Moving Forward – Construction Update

The Front Beach Road CRA is making great progress with the current project and is planning and preparing for the next segment in the rebuilding of our tourist transportation corridor.

The Beckrich Road project, started in September of 2007 is right on schedule.  Just last week traffic was switched to the newly paved portion of the road so that crews can begin the reconstruction of the original treaded path.  Part of the process will include bringing it up to grade, repaving and curbing.  The entire project, including street-side lighting, sidewalks, and landscaping will be complete by May of 2009.

The next phase of the CRA will be the South Thomas Drive area, including the road that travels past Boardwalk, past Pineapple Willies and dead-ends at Laketown Wharf and Shores of Panama.  If you haven’t traveled down this road in a while, then you don’t know just how bad this road really is.  This stretch of pavement looks like it was laid during colonial times, probably at least 250 years old – sarcasm.

This particular part of the CRA is unique in that there isn’t enough room to expand the roadway as much as some of the other areas.  However, the final product will have two full size traffic lanes, a middle turn lane and a west-bound tram lane that will double as an expanded bike pathway.  Sidewalks, lighting and landscaping will be on both sides, and the final product will be beautiful and pedistrian friendly.

The planning is almost complete, and the right of way land is nearly all purchased, but construction funding is yet to be in place.  With roughly $10 million in the bank, Ben Faust of DRMP, the engineering firm overseaing the CRA operation, said they still need to raise another $20 million to fund construction and purchase right of way land for the next phase of the CRA that will cover Front Beach Road, from Walmart past Bechrich Road.

“Even in light of the current financial situation, we should still be able to raise the money we need through bond sales,” said Faust.  If everything goes as planned, the South Thomas section will be advertised for bid first quarter of 2009 with a prjected start time sometime next summer.  Total construction time should be around 24 months.

The next section of the CRA – Front Beach Road, from Walmart past Beckrich should begin construction summer of 2010.

PCB – The Emerald Coast's glorious jewel

It’s no wonder Panama City Beach claims to have the “World’s Most Beautiful Beaches”. This Gulf Coast jewel stands out among the Emerald shores of Florida’s Panhandle. Locals can tell you that they live in one of the best places in the Sunshine State. First established in 1953 with Phillips Inlet Bridge on the quiet west end, Panama City Beach grew from a sleepy little secret to the vacation hotspot it is today.
As one looks into the history of Panama City Beach, one thing stands clear. The water that kisses the glistening white sand is clean, with several hues of green and blue, and boy is it warm. On a perfect summer day, water temps average a comfy 80 to 84 degrees. A day on one of these beaches is just the ticket for your hurried life.

The beauty of the powdery sand is that it won’t burn your feet. This sand gets its white color from the Appalachian Mountains. Quartz crystals washed down to the coast centuries ago. It’s no wonder this destination has been tagged as “the Beach Lover’s Beach”. This resilient little town shows much promise for the future. Major venues are currently acquiring land for future parks and recreation.

No matter what you’ve heard, Panama City Beach is not just for the college crowd anymore. City planners have given much thought and energy into broadening the beach’s appeal to all age groups for vacation. Although the Spring Break crowd still descends to area, stricter laws and party control have helped to control this month-long revelry. Partiers have also found other areas of Florida to blow off steam. PCB is working hard, and succeeding, in attracting families and all vacationers to this piece of heaven. Many new and exciting venues have come to Panama City Beach, including an amazing outdoor mall called Pier Park. It’s almost a city in itself. This is a guarantee that our area continues to offer more vacation bang for your buck, for years to come.

With over 390 places to curb your appetite, the Panama City Beach area is teaming with endless ways to cure your hunger. Franchise fair is always available, as well as fast food choices. But don’t count out the numerous “mom and pop” establishments that line the three main streets of the city. On Front Beach Road you’ll find several steak and seafood restaurants, along with beachfront dining where you can eat and enjoy the sun setting over the Gulf. There are also sunset dining cruises, which offer entertainment along with great food. The seafood is freshly caught the very day you order. Do plan on many beach walks to burn off the calories you’ll consume while you are here.

For the adventurous thrill seeker, you’ll find the go-cart tracks a fun way to spend the evening. Not in the racing mood? Try your hand at mini golf or the multitude of thrill rides. Slingshots and sky-high bungee rides will make even grown men scream. Even if you don’t ride, they are loads of fun to watch. Carnival type game parks are a way to provide the kids with hours of fun. Shipwreck Island Water Park is a refreshing way to spend your day, without the saltwater. There is also a plethora of moped and electric car rentals for those wanting to leave the car at the resort. Zip around to your heart’s content, but please wear your helmet!

If 365 days of water play, golf and sun worshiping isn’t enough for you, many other attractions await you. The city boasts the brand new Panama City Beach Aquatic Center, ZooWorld, mini golf courses as well as several full golf venues, amazing restaurants, and the new Pier Park for Shopping/Dining/Entertainment. You’ll also not want to miss the Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum or Gulf World – where you can play with the dolphins, and so much more.

Speaking of dolphins in all the time I’ve spent in Panama City Beach, there was never a day that went by that I did not see pods of dolphins busy at play. Sometimes just yards away, these delightful mammals also love the warm waters of the Emerald Coast. A day visit to nearby Shell Island, just a ferry ride over from St. Andrews park on the east end, is not to be missed. Bring your lunch, because the inhabitants of this pristine island oasis won’t cook for you. This island is undeveloped and is host to the world’s largest population of bottle-nosed dolphins.

Shelling is an addictive hobby among all visitors and locals alike. When you go, try several spots up and down the beach. Shelling after a storm often yields a treasure chest of finds. Just be sure to take only unoccupied shells and leave some for other collectors and future tenants!

There are plenty of vacation rental accommodations to choose from in Panama City Beach. Whether you desire to rent a private condo unit (each one is decorated differently by their owners), beach house, villa, or hotel, there are plenty of places available from east to west on the beach. The far east side will bring you closer to St. Andrews Park and Aquatic Preserve and Shell Island, from there head west to where the action is, to about the middle area. Don’t worry about things to do; the whole beach has something for everyone. As condominium construction projects complete, this #1 choice of PCB vacationers offer plenty of places to kick off your flip flops, relax and unwind.

As you head west, the beaches become more private and relaxing. The beach on the far west end offers up beautiful Camp Helen, Inlet Beach, Carillon and Lake Powell. For the “Quiet West End” boasts vacationing on near private beaches. It’s like having the beach nearly all to yourself. Great for families, honeymooners and snowbirds, this area is a true GETAWAY! It’s the part of Panama City Beach that makes you say, “Ahhh!” Yet, when you’re ready to go out for a night on the town, jump in your car and a short drive takes you for amazing dining and fun. Some claim PCB to be the next Miami, but one thing stands clear – no matter how swanky we become, we have the old style of beach life in our veins. Take it slow, relax, you’re on beach time now!

For superb beach-loving fun, Panama City Beach has my vote for the #1 Florida vacation mecca in the US. The moderate climate also attracts many northerners to its sun-soaked winters. With an average temperature of 66 degrees in December, and sometimes warmer, it’s no wonder our beach finds more and more snowbirds settling in for good! There are so many new and exciting things that lie in store in Bay County. As a condo owner, I for one, am anxious to make it my permanent home someday.

A Pier Park Summer – Video

Throughout the summer, I spent considerable time at Pier Park capturing varying aspects of life at Pier Park.  Mall management was gracious enough to allow me roof access to gain some of these stunning shots.  I spent over a cumulative 12 hours capturing and several hours editing to complete this timelapse of Pier Park in Panama City Beach.

The process included setting up my Canon Digital Rebel EOS Xti 10.1 on a tripod with a timer set at varying intervals between 1 to 3 seconds.  In other words, every second or few, the camera would automatically take a picture while I sat with my headlamp pointing towards a good book.  Often passersby would inquire as to what I was doing.

Some shots would take up to 60 minutes to capture and the final video utilizes over 6,000 still photographs.  In true time-lapse fashion, some shots may seem to linger, use this time to enjoy the nuances of seeing thousands of people pass in just seconds.

I created the whole production in full HD 1080i, but the online version is a much paired down 1280×720.  The full version is available for purchase on a DVD for $12.  Email me at jason(at)pcbdaily.com if you would like to purchase the full-sized version.

View in HD

PCBDaily Twitter Weekly Updates for 10-21-2008

Below you’ll see live updates from Saturday’s auction, as they were happening, enjoy!

  • @lou1492 hey lou, I just saw your message from September! in reply to lou1492 #
  • @cowgirlkitchen thank for the follow, welcome to pcbdaily! in reply to cowgirlkitchen #
  • @SheilaBarbee thank for the follow, welcome to pcbdaily! in reply to SheilaBarbee #
  • Check pcbdaily.com for a full cra update later this week. #
  • Met with ben faust today with the cra. Beckrich traffic has been switched to the new road with the entire project to finish by summer #
  • Auction over, everyone gone. Check pcbdaily.com for final numbers. #
  • Selling has stopped at approximately 32 condos sold for a total of 8 million generated. Final numbers coming. #
  • They ‘shut the auction down’ but they are still selling condos. #
  • Auctioneer said they aren’t selling any more absolute and people are pouring out of the tent, leaving. #
  • First 2 bedroom sold for 205000. That is 186 before buyers premium #
  • The prices I’m stating are before the 10 percent buyers premium. These are auction prices that a 10 percent buyers premium is added onto. #
  • That’s 190 a square foot. #
  • Second four bedroom sold for 305000 #
  • Second 4 bedroom bidding at 305 right now. SOLD, actually. #
  • First four bedroom sold for 340000. That’s 212 a square foot. #
  • Not one seat empty, people standing all around at the ocean reef auction. #
  • Reading legals. Snore. However necessary. #
  • Doing opening to auction. Bidding should start in a few minutes. #
  • Just completed charity auction. Raised just under 300 for st jude children hospital. #
  • The crowd is growing with 135 registered bidders and growing. #
  • Not many people at the auction yet. Some are up looking at condos. That’s where I’m headed. #
  • Going to the ocean reef auction to view registration. #
  • Live updates of the Ocean Reef Auction tomorrow through twitter!! get price per square foot – real time! #

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Where we are in the current real estate cycle

MarketWatch.com published a great article speaking into why now may be a good time to buy real estate.

The bottom of the market is not a date, but a band of time or season,” Shore says, and therefore what constitutes the bottom for the entire country is meaningless for those looking to buy and sell homes in their own communities. “If you sit on the fence and wait for the absolute best deal, you could end up literally waiting for years. And most likely, your guess on market timing would be wrong. But if you choose to buy now, you will not only be in the driver’s seat during the buying process, you will also reap the gains of price appreciation once you become a home owner,” adds Shore.

Waiting for the right time to buy puts you at risk of missing it and getting caught in a market on the upswing. Plus, for some first-time buyers, owning simply makes better economic sense than renting. In such areas as Los Angeles, rents are getting close or surpassing a mortgage payment. And you don’t receive any tax benefits from paying rent, nor do you accumulate any price appreciation, as you would if you owned a home of your own.

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