LIVE VIDEO – Jason from PCBDaily at Pier Park's New Year's Bash

Wednesday, December 31, 2008, we will be broadcasting live video from our camera, through the internet and onto pcbdaily.com, specifically this post, or on the TV page.  We will do a broadcast every hour on the hour starting at 5 pm and going through the night.  We will probably do some shots in between as the action unfolds or as we see fit.  Most of the evening will be played by ear.

I have several guest appearances lined up throughout the night and look forward to having a lot of fun.  If you are planning on being out there, and you see us, flag us down and say hello.

If you can’t be there, watch the night unfold right here on pcbdaily.com.  Below, the live feed will play when we broadcast.  If we don’t come up automatically, you may have to hit the refresh button in the bottom left of the player.

Be safe, have fun, and we’ll see you New Year’s Eve.

http://www.ustream.tv/flash/live/1/404611

Pier Park Ready for New Year's Bash

_mg_7137_2I was out at Pier Park today scoping the grounds for our live production tommorrow for the first ever Panama City Beach New Year’s bash that is being presented by Margaritaville.

Pier Park has done an amazing job of putting together a great party for everyone in Panama City and Panama City Beach to enjoy.  I was talking to Berna-Liza, Sales and Marketing Manager for Margaritaville and remarked that this is the first time Panama City Beach (as long as I’ve been here) has done something like this that the whole community can come together and celebrate this once-a-year holiday.

There will be something for everyone.  If you are a drinker, there will be tons of places to party, if you are a family person, there will be bouncy houses and open areas to play, if you are a loner, there will be tons of people there to keep you company.  I love it, I can’t hardly think about sleeping tonight.

The family time, from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm, will play host to stilt walkers, face painters and live music playing on the main boardwalk area AND in the open area in front of Bootleg BBQ and Starbucks.  Then, at 9 pm, the countdown party will begin with more live music and prizes given away from the stage in front of the beach ball every 20 minutes.

The beach ball is an illuminated 8 foot ball with the Pier Park logo on it that will be suspended 120 feet in the air.  As midnight approaches, it will be lowered by a winch, ringing in the new year.  At the exact moment the ball hits the ground, fireworks will shoot off on the beach just next to the pier that is currently under construction.

I’ll be there, along with a buddy of mine, Lou Columbus, shooting video, taking pictures and having a grand ‘ol time.

See you at Pier Park!

PCBDaily LIVE VIDEO at Pier Park for New Year's Eve Bash

That’s right, you read correctly. We’re moving on up in this world.  We will be broadcasting live from Pier Park in Panama City Beach on New Year’s Eve.

So, if you have nothing else to do but sit in front of your computer on New Year’s Eve, then you can spend it with me at Pier Park.  We’ll be doing a live video starting every hour on the hour beginning at 5 pm.  Each broadcast will be a minimum of 5 minutes.  We’ll have some guests on the show, and we will be video taping all the action.

The first annual New Year’s bash at Pier Park is sponsored by Panama City Beach’s Convention and Visitor’s Bureau and Margaritaville.  With live entertainment, dazzling holiday lights, and a fireworks display, this will be the place to be in Panama City Beach on New Year’s Eve.

Starting at 5:30 and going until 8 will be family time.  There will be bouncy houses from Beach Bouncers, stilt walkers, live entertainment, face-painters and more.  At 9 pm the countdown party will begin with the climax at the Beach Ball drop and a spectacular fireworks display.

Of course I will get the whole event on video, from all around Pier Park.

In order to view the live feeds, go to the TV page.  Also on the TV page, I will put up a tentative schedule in the next two days.

Top Stories for 2008 on PCBDAILY.COM

2008 has been a monumental year for us at pcbdaily.  We’ve seen super awesome growth, expanded our content base tremendously and have reached out to more people than we had ever expected.

Looking back, the top stories covered good times and bad, with some of the bad times being good for others and some of the good times being bad for some.

4 of the top 10 articles talked about new additions to our area, namely Pier Park and the new Panama City Bay County International Airport (I know, we need a new name, and that will be addressed in 2009).

Walking around the mall, it is sometimes hard to imagine that this time last year, Pier Park’s roads were not even paved yet.  Colorful buildings had been erect for some time, but the mall as a whole was still just under 2 months from opening.  Looking back, it amazes me how quick somethings get done.

The new airport has hit milestones aplenty during 2008.  Just a little over a year ago, the airport groundbreaking ceremony took place.  When 2008 rolled in, the airport was caught in a legal battle with the NRDC and the Fiends of PFN.

In what was expected to draw out for months, the case was totally thrown out on January 25th, clearing the Airport Authority for construction immediately. The case was in many instances described as frivolous, and was not taken seriously by the judge.  Opponents touted the failure of an affirmative vote in a non-binding referendum vote, but were never able to validate the fairness of the actual vote in regards to it being represented to all those affected.

For the new airport, 2008 brought the site from a stumpy, patchy 4,000 acre site to a cleared, grubbed site that is almost completely brought to grade with terminal parking installed, foundation work for the terminal complete, an asphalt-paved runway with some concrete and funding for a full 10,000 foot runway.

As the economy has plunged during 2008, so have real estate prices.  Now, this has been a topic of hot debate on pcbdaily.  I’ve oft been blasted by the Realtor community for spreading “bad news” and not “helping” the market by taking part in the media frenzy of negativity.  However, the reality is, those that are complaining should be putting that energy into finding buyers because now is a great time to buy real estate.

Plunging prices mean good deals for all buyers.  I understand the hesitation and skepticism, but things will not always be this way, and in 10 years, us agents will be doing our homework on baypa.net thinking to ourselves that we should have bought as much as possible back in 2008 and 2009 when prices were so cheap.  3 of the top 10 articles of 2008 were specifically about condo auctions in Panama City Beach.  The Palazzo condo auction story took the cake, trailed by the Ocean Reef Auction and the cancelled Marina Landing auction.  The Seahaven auction actually made it in the top 15 and is only a few weeks old.

The other 3 articles of the top 10 articles of 2008 on pcbdaily have to do with problems at local condos and the condo market as a whole.  Laketown Wharf has been a sore topic for many with the developer being a self-proclaimed Trump with a Drawl – Jerry Wallace.

A largely vacant, 750 condo, elephantine monolith, Laketown Wharf actually had great aspirations, with some possibility of success had it come unto creation mid 2004.  With huge swimming pools, a Balagio-style fountain/light show, a 650-seat live performance theatre, 5 restaurants and 1,000’s of square feet of retail space, it was planned to be almost a small town.

With less than 70 closings, it has been largely regarded as a complete and utter failure, but Laketown Wharf yet has a bright future with Corus stepping in.  2009 should bring something good for that development, hopefully.

Anyway, enough – enjoy the articles and looking back on 2008!

10.) Marina Landing Auction – CANCELED

9.) New Airport is on Schedule – Construction Update

8.) 35 Condos Sold at Ocean Reef Auction

7.) Pier Park – Margaritaville Grand Opening in Panama City Beach (video)

6.) Construction Update – New Panama City Bay County International Airport

5.) 50 Palazzo Condos Sold at Auction on Panama City Beach

4.) Problems at Nautilus Cove Condominiums?

3). Panama City Beach Condo Market Analysis After The Palazzo Auction

2.) Pier Park Grand Opening was a Smash Hit

1.) Laketown Wharf Busts, Leaves Developer Crying

Buy Now, Real Estate Incentives Abound

There’s still time…

As 2008 is quickly drawing to a close, there are still buyers who are “on the fence” about signing that purchase contract right now.  If you are considering purchasing a home for your personal residence, probably the most important reason to purchase before the end of the year is the ability to file for homestead exemption for the year 2009.  This will provide a substantial tax savings, not only for 2009, but for the entire amount of time you intend to use the property as your personal residence.

In addition, the homestead tax exemption was recently raised to $50,000 per tax year and is now “portable” for those homeowners who would like to move up to a larger home or downsize for retirement.  For additional information, please contact the Bay County Property Appraiser’s Office at http://www.baypa.net.

There are many additional reasons to buy in Bay County even if you miss the December 2008 deadline for homestead purposes:  low interest rates, very affordable housing, a $7,500 tax credit for first time home buyers, and others.  Look for additional information on these great opportunities in the upcoming weeks of 2009.

Have a safe, happy and prosperous new year.

For more information, please contact Sandy at 850-303-1825 or sandythompson10@comcast.net. You can also visit her websites @ http://www.ringthebelles.com and http://www.sandythompsoncondos.com.

Winter Guest SUNCARD = Good Deals for the Snowbirds

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:

Accommodations

  • 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.

Dining

  • 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)

Attractions

  • 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

Miscellaneous

  • 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.

Panama City Bay County Airport Update

Construction at the new Panama City-Bay County International Airport continues to run smoothly and is currently about 3 and a half months ahead of schedule.

The entire project is about 35% complete, with the heavy civil portion, which includes the main runway, approximately 66% complete.

In general, almost 250 workers are regularly onsite each work day.  Offsite quarries, asphalt plants, concrete pipe plants, truck drivers and other ancillary activities will normally employ another 350 people in significant activity.

As the terminal construction and utility installation contracts begin to ramp up after New Years, these numbers will increase

The foundation for the terminal building is underway with concrete being placed in the footers. Foundations are also underway for the various support buildings and the air traffic control tower.   Concrete is being produced by local plants (offsite).

Approximately 40,000 tons of asphalt has been placed on the project to date.  Contractors are currently paving the main apron areas.

Sands and fine aggregates are obtained from local sources while harder aggregates come from mines in Alabama and Marianna, Florida.  Asphalt is mixed by CW Roberts in their Freeport and Panama City plants.

Approximately 55% of the main runway’s 15? concrete paving lanes are now in place.

Aggregates for the concrete are being sourced from local sand quarries and hard rock mines near Perry, Florida.  Concrete is being placed by a team of local contractors that includes operators, finishers, and detailers.

To date 5.4 million cubic yards of earth has been moved on the project site.

Approximately 33,000 linear feet of reinforced concrete pipe has been produced locally and installed by the area’s contractors.

Over 40,000 linear feet of high-density plastic underdrains have also been installed.

Other local contractors are involved with providing dewatering pumps, erosion control and grass seeding.

Work on the underground utilities portion of the project is expected to begin on January 5, 2009.