TDC/CVB: $480,000.00…

On Friday afternoon, the TDC and CVB called to order a meeting regarding additional funds added to the summer marketing budget. To recap, the dollars previously spent totaled 1 million dollars and went towards saturating primary targets areas Atlanta, Birmingham and Nashville with an advertising media mix of 40% cable advertising, 30% online, 24% outdoor and 6% magazine. This campaign, to date, has been successful. Dan Rowe, chairman of the TDC, acknowledged this success stating that the daily site traffic to the website has increased three-fold since the start of the campaign and the URL has moved up several thousand places in quantcast rankings.

With so much early success (we haven’t yet seen the complete outcome of results) the board decided to hit the markets harder, considering bolstering the marketing efforts with an additional $500,000. The board was presented three recommendations, one from the current advertising partner Y partnership, one from JB Inc. and a local broadcast recommendation. The recommendations broke down as follows:

Y Partnership Recommendation

  • Extend Cable Buys
    • Nine weeks versus six weeks
    • $215,00
  • Internet TV in AL, TN, KY and Stl, Indy and Cincy
    • 7.2 million impressions, 10x frequency
    • $186,815
  • Local Broadcast TV
    • Knoxville, Lexington, Waco/Bryan
    • 12 Weeks, 90% reach, 10x frequency
    • $73,185

Total Investment = $475,000

JB Inc Recommendation

  • Showcase TV Ad on,,
    • Thirteen Weeks
    • 9.5 million impressions
    • Geo-targeted buys focusing East US & TC
    • $230,000
  • Extend Run of Network Video Banner (TV Spot)
    • Sites TBD – (e.g., Facebook)
    • 2.6 million impressions
    • $30,000

Total Investment = $230,000

Local Broadcast TV recommendation

  • Gray Television – 10 Stations: AL, FL, TN, KY, TX, MS
    • Seventeen Weeks
    • 13.7 million impressions
    • Reach=91.3%, 10.9 frequency
    • Will run on local news, morning shows, and prime-time TV
    • Billfish programming with on air mention during tournament and other times during campaign
    • $165,000 media flight, $25,000 billfish
  • Hoak Television – 3 station in LA – Monroe and Alexandria
    • Twelve Weeks
    • Reach = 91.5% 10.2 Frequency
    • $30,000

Total Investment = $220,000

These were only recommendations as to how the money should be spent and it became instantly apparent that Y-partnership would be the odd-man out. Even Mr. Buddy Wilkes didn’t care for Y’s recommendation saying they came up with, “quick ideas with very little thought” and that they, “didn’t come up with anything creative.” He didn’t have to mention the massive price tag on a less than stellar service that JB Inc and LBTV could produce at half the cost and better results. The recommendation from Y encountered such bad reviews that the overall partnership with them may be in jeopardy. To that point, Mr. Yonnie Patronis added, “This is an opportunity to test the waters with someone else.”

The board decided to go with a combination of JB Inc.’s recommendation and Local Broadcast Television with the caveat that the Local Broadcast TV compress the seventeen weeks to somewhere closer to thirteen.

What  tipped the scales might have been the Billfish tournament marketing. Obviously, the Billfish Tournament is a major draw to our area and can be capitalized on with the target markets. What Gray Television plans to do is have a thirty minute show which showcases the event and the destination, giving Panama City Beach loads of face time including promotional opportunities with sports and weather. Overall, JB Inc.’s and LBTV’s recommendations should make for a good buy.

One interesting tid-bit in the meeting was a quick discussion about marketing to future potential markets like Chicago and NY. With the new airport these areas, which previously had been virtually avoided in terms of marketing, could become gold. If you have analytics you know that NY and CHI rank high on traffic on Panama City Beach sites already. It might not be a bad idea to start early with a great/new/first impression, lathering up new potential vacationers and snowbirds for a trip to PCB.

Video of Environmental Damage at New Airport Site

Having been up there, I was able to take video of the creeks and waterways that serve as the natural water run-off point for the new Panama City Airport.  Again, I was able to see no apparent damage or side-effects of any damage.  However, apparently, after the comments in the other post, I would need to be in a helicopter to observe the claimed negative effects the airport construction site is having on the environment.

TDC/CVB Special Meeting Agenda – Summer Marketing

As discussed in previous TDC/CVB meeting on summer marketing efforts the board agreed to meet again before the summer season is in full swing to consider adding money and additional efforts to the summer marketing campaign. This meeting should examine the marketing avenue those additional monies will take. Should be an interesting one. Below is the agenda for this meeting.



Bay County Tourist Development Council

Panama City Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc.

Panama City Beach

Friday, May 29, 2009 – 2:00 p.m. – Board Room, Visitor Information Center



A. Invocation

B. Pledge of Allegiance





Download the Agenda Here

Higher Interest Rates Drop Refi Applications

We are beginning to see a bit more volatility with rates as compared to the past several months as the stock market continues to post gains despite continued economic uncertainty. Rates have been held down by the Federal Reserve’s program of buying up mortgage-backed securities and the minutes from their last meeting released last week revealed they are considering purchasing an additional $750 billion for a grand total of $1.5 trillion. This news helped thirty-year mortgage rates remain barely below 5% despite a broad sell-off in the bond market that saw the yield on the ten year Treasury note rise to 3.43% – its highest level in months.

On Tuesday, a dismal housing report showing home prices decline some 19% year over year in the first quarter was outweighed by a report showing consumer confidence jumped by its biggest amount in six years to its highest levels in eight months reigniting the rally in the stock market. On Wednesday, the Mortgage Banker’s Association of America reported that applications dropped 14% last week as the highest interest rates in two months have sharply curtailed refinances.

If the current exuberance in the equity markets continues to put downward pressure on bond prices, we may see the last of sub 5% mortgage rates. Investors are looking for higher returns and seem to believe increasingly of late that the end of the recession will be sooner rather than later. Still, I do not expect mortgage rates to spike dramatically but, rather, slowly rise as risk aversion diminishes in the markets. Look for rates to stay around 5% for the next month or so with increased day to day volatility.

Do You Qualify for a Short Sale?

Okay gang, I know, I know, enough already. . . I have been talking and writing and breathing short sales but this has got to be said. With the number of people jumping on the short sale band wagon many are called but few are chosen, and you have to make sure you are actually qualified we need to set the record straight. Yes property is devalued and yes you are way upside down but are you really a candidate for a short sale?

The biggest point to drive home is that you must have a true hardship to qualify. The bank loaned you the money and if you have assets and you have the economic ability to pay back the loan then you are more than likely not going be accepted for a short sale. It is a very timely process with many people investing time and energy to make it happen so it is important to assure that it is a viable option for you. I think it is a great idea to check with a lawyer an an accountant and discuss your situation. Make sure that you are honest with your Realtor because she really can not help you to the best of her ability without honest, accurate information.

Before you even think that you may want to do a short sale make sure you are prepared to be forthcoming and honest about all of your income and dept. You will need to provide a few years taxes, bank statements, and any other source of income that is available to you. More than likely if you have gotten to this stage there is a real tangible reason for your inability to pay your dept. It is vital that when you write your hardship letter is written by you and not an attorney or other party. MOST important, however, is that these items must be submitted before a SHORT SALE contract can even be looked at as a SHORT SALE possibility. So be working on these things as soon as your Realtor takes your listing.

Many people call me and ask me, “Is that a pre-approved short sale?” Now that is a hard one to swallow because there really is no such thing because a short sale can NOT happen unless the bank and the seller agree to the final terms. In other words, per the addendum the seller needs to be satisfied with the settlement that the lender is proposing for the deal to work. It is really a great big jig-saw puzzle with many pieces that have to fit together so really, until it is over – it is just not over.

I hope that this does not come across as a mean spirited article, that is certainly not the intent. I just want to clear up some misinformation that I hear floating around and I am sure that you have heard it too. Thankfully most of our short sales are working but the fact is, they do not all fly, so the best assurance is to lay it all out on the table, take a deep breath, be patient, be really really sweet to your Realtor and she will be really sweet and patient with the lender and hopefully. . .

Sorry if I am beating a dead horse but it keeps coming back to life.

Pet of The Week – Friends of Bay County Animal Control

052609_pet_callieThis week’s pet of the week is Callie, a multi-colored young cat in need of a great home.

Callie was very surprising when she first came to us in foster care. She was very shy and scared, but quickly became accustomed to her new home and became best friends with Miss Prissy. She enjoys being indoors and in the company of her family. Callie is looking for a forever home that will love her and treat her like a queen.
We estimate her to be 1 year of age, and Callie is spayed and up-to-date on her vaccinations.   You may see more about her at

Episode #8 – 3 Br Waterfront Condo for $289k

The Beach Show is your ONLY internet TV show all about Real Estate on Panama City Beach.

Remember, it doesn’t cost anything to work with us if you are a buyer.

Click the “more” tag for show notes and pictures.

Call us at 866-994-1770 to see these properties or for anything else you need regarding real estate in Panama City Beach.

Show Notes

Deal 1 – Handyman Special

  • List Price: $79,900
  • Square Feet: 1,320
  • Price/SqFt: $60.53
  • 3 Bedrooms, 1 Bath
  • Built in 1974
  • This is a Handyman’s Special and definately needs a little love, but for the price, it may be an awesome fit for you. This kitchen is damaged, but there is still some granite to work with. The carpet would probably need to be replacing and some work would need to be done on some of the walls. There is a pretty rough mother-in-law house out back that appears to have plumbing and electricity to it. This is a foreclosure listing being sold by the bank.

Deal 2 – Sunnyside Dedicated Beach

  • List Price: $219,900
  • Square Feet: 1,776
  • Price/SqFt: $123.82
  • 3 Bedrooms, 2 Bath
  • Built in 1970
  • This is an awesome home in the beautiful Sunnyside Beach Area. This home is one block from a dedicated beach, which means no one will ever build on this beach. This is regarded as one of the nicest (and quietest) dedicated beach areas on Panama City Beach. This home needs a little work, but not much. It has a spacious floor plan with a neat, renovated master bathroom. This would make a great rental.

Deal 3 – Waterfront Wild Heron Condo

  • List Price: $289,000
  • Square Feet: 1,711
  • Price/SqFt: 168.91
  • 3 Bedrooms, 3 Bath
  • Built in 2004
  • We are no strangers to Wild Heron, and that community is so HOT right now with over 12 closings in there so far this year. Of course, with prices like this, its no wonder, these condos are top notch, from the ground up. And the community is second to none in Panama City Beach, truly one-of-a-kind with superb amenities that emulate a lifestyle that at one point would cost you close to a million dollars to buy into. This condo is a one-owner, live in that has been spectacularly taken care of. This is a short sale listing, that is actually Karen’s listing, and I’ve been told the bank is being very communicative.

Call us at 866-994-1770 to see these properties or for anything else you need regarding real estate in Panama City Beach.

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-05-26

  • They say numbers ae down this weekend, but walmart is packed. #
  • @amyers not yet. #
  • Going shopping with the kids at pier park. Lots of people here. #
  • reports are saying weekend tourism is way down, crappy start to the season, at least we have a good excuse, crappy weather. #
  • The slab is poured at the shubee flowrider in panama city beach. #
  • I just got back from the new airport and I saw no damage. #
  • I just got back from the new airport and I saw no damage. #
  • I just got back from the new airport and I saw no damage. #
  • I’m going up for the real story on the new Panama City airport environmental issues tomorrow! #
  • #

Despite Reports, New Airport has Little Environmental Damage

Despite other reports in the media, the construction of the new Panama City airport in West Bay has caused little disturbance in the natural environmental habitat of the pristine areas of West Bay, Burnt Mill Creek and the adjoining waterways.  Linda Young of the Clean Water Network, a whistle blower since the beginning of the project going underway, cried red flags citing that serious, irreparable damage was being caused by water run-off at the construction site.  Young claimed that the natural pristine areas would be forever damaged and that the marine habitats’ destruction would ruin the tourism industry only to correct herself by citing that it would ruin the charter fishing industry.

In a phone interview with Young, she claimed to have photographs documenting the excess run-off and the damage it has created to the surrounding environmental areas but failed to produce them after two requests were made.  Young also claimed that a dark powdery residue could be found on surrounding vegetation in the run-off areas, yet I observed non-such-matter.  It could be possible, however, that I was looking in the wrong areas, as we were limited by where we could go without some serious off-terrain gear. I was taken up Burnt Mill Creek until we couldn’t go anymore without running aground and took note that all of the vegetation looked the same as the vegetation all along the West Bay waterway, again, noting no muddy residue.

I visited the airport construction site on Thursday to talk with officials and was told that there were run-off issues that were being dealt with and that the Florida Department of Environmental Protection was and had been made aware of the issues.  The issues were noted during a period of heavy rain-fall during the months of March and April during regular weekly tests and were reported to the FDEP  .I was told that in collaboration with the FDEP, measures were being taken to correct the issues that had caused the excess and improper run-off.  I was told that the issues were not serious and that no permanent damage had occurred, but there were definitely issues to be resolved.

Phone calls to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection were not returned.

Upon noting above average levels of turbidity in the surrounding waterways at the new Panama City airport site, the airport authority hired a private independent environmental consulting group.  Ecological Resource Consultants (ERC) conducted a study of the environmental areas in and around Bear Bay Branch, Kelly Branch, Morrell Branch, Crooked Creek, Burnt Mill Creek and West Bay.  Over a period of 10 days, ERC studied data from the DEP, data from the Airport Authority and their own independent findings at the sites in question and found:

  • During construction, with the exception of March/April 2009, turbidity levels remains the same just off site as they were before construction began.
  • No sediment was found in Bear Bay Branch
  • Kelly Branch/Morrell Branch had sediment accumulation, which means the wetlands performed correctly, catching the sediment before it went into the creeks.
  • There was no sediment found in Burnt Mill Creek, Crooked Creek or West Bay.
  • ERC took 8 core samples from Burnt Mill Creek and Crooked Creek, from the branch outfall locations all the way down to the mouth of each creek at West Bay and found no sediment accumulation.
  • They also had a snorkeler check and found no visible impact to sea grasses and no sediment in West Bay.
  • Found finer textured sediment which causes some minor concern because it could possibly reactivate with a heavy rainfall, but they are working with DEP to develop an approved approach to limiting remobilization.
  • There was no measurable impact on either Creek or West Bay.
  • Almost all of the sediment was contained on the airport property and within the permit boundaries.

After talking with Roy Willett, KBR Construction Manager at the new Panama City Airport site, I was told that through on-going communication with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection approved resolutions were being made to improve the  existing run-off systems to provide minimal impact on the surrounding areas.  To help, more than 600 acres of land has been seeded and mulched in the last 2 weeks.

Direct Hit – Panama City Beach Hurricane Season 2009

hurricane-ivanThe National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration published its 2009 hurricane predictions interpreted by some to be “busy” and others as “normal.” Top weather forecasters on the federal level announced that the tropics are likely to experience an active storm season, stirring up between 11 – 14 storms with 6 -8 of them becoming full hurricanes. This is not quite as active as last year’s storm season which produced 16 named storms, 8 of them hurricanes and 5 of those major hurricanes. Florida, for its part, only had to deal with one storm, Fay, and the Gulf of Mexico remained relatively unharmed.

The hurricane affect on the travel season is ambiguous at best. Any city in the path of a Hurricane or tropical storm instantly becomes America’s most avoided destination. Even small tropical storms, a full week away from landfall where Panama City Beach sits somewhere within a 300 mile-wide landing cone, could detour potential tourist to other vacation areas. Travel by air during hurricane warnings is usually halted and driving into a potential storm isn’t necessarily safe. Vacations are canceled or postponed and economically the shift can be staggering. In a post-Katrina 2006 survey by Manugistics Group Inc., results found that one quarter of Americans say they would cancel Florida travel plans because of the hurricanes. The survey also said up to 3.4 million hotel room-nights could be canceled or avoided during the remainder of the year.

On the other hand, despite the devastation wreaked by hurricanes in recent years, thousands of intrepid travelers will be making their way to hurricane zones like Panama City Beach, lured by cheap airfares and accommodation rates. Many travelers are willing to risk encountering a storm during their vacation — especially if their hotel or condo destination offers a hurricane guarantee. Case in point, the very same Manugistics Group Inc survey also found that one third of American adults said the hurricanes would not affect travel plans.

The Panama City Beach’s TDC, CVB and the majority of the private sector have spent loads of money marketing this year’s summer season expected to be bigger than the last two years. With Panama City Beach’s new image being showcased all over the south, the buzz about the city may be at its highest point, so high that the only thing that can bring it down is a hurricane. Still, PCB has endured many hurricanes and businesses remain stalwart. Billy Alam, General Manager of the beach front Days Inn, says, “I’m not worried. You just have to be prepared.”

Preparation was the talk of the NOAA forecast news conference. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke told reporters, ”Our plan today is simple: We want the public to be ready for this year’s season,” Locke was accompanied by NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco and Bill Read, NOAA’s National Hurricane Center director. Bill Read added, “Hurricane season in upon us. We need to communicate down to the personal level, preparedness, now is the time.”

NOAA officials said the forecast will be updated in August, normally the busiest part of hurricane season.

The first four storms of the year to come out of the Atlantic, Caribbean or the Gulf of Mexico have already been named, Ana, Bill, Claudette and Danny. For a summer season that is set to be a lucrative one for Panama City Beach businesses, let’s hope we don’t get to meet Ana, Bill, Claudette or Danny face to debri-swirling face.