TDC/CVB had a combined meeting this week to pass Spring Break recommendations presented by Dan Rowe, CEO of the Tourist Development Council. After long weeks of deliberations, meetings and one vigorous community forum, a recommendation on Spring Break was reached that will decidedly cut Spring Break advertising ergo, cutting ties with MTV.
Bullet point recommendations at the meeting were as follows:
- TDC Actions:
- Limit Paid Advertising to “Spring Break Responsibly” campaigns
- Engage in Proactive Spring Break Public Relations activities
- Develop a Spring Break Section of VisitPanamaCityBeach.com with Spring Break Responsibly messages, “Rules of the Road,” Spring Break Friendly Lodging.
- Requested City of Panama City Beach Actions
- Conduct workshops for businesses engaged in Spring Break to discuss ways of better managing Spring Break business owners’ roles in the enforcement of state and local laws and other avenues to control potential problems related to Spring Break.
- Conduct workshops with the public and lodging establishments not directly engaged in Spring Break on strategies to control and limit impacts from Spring Break, as well as define various roles, responsibilities, and what action public safety officials can legally and practically take.
- Hire auxiliary police during peak weeks to augment PCB PD to increase police presence along Front Beach Road.
- Provide additional foot, canine and ATV patrols in areas of high Spring Break activity, including on the sandy beach to enforce littering, glass and other laws.
- Fully implement the Special Events Ordinance to insure gatherings of college students at outdoor concerts and other assemblies have appropriate management and public safety plans in place.
- Encourage FRLA to take and active role in getting the association’s members to proactively manage Spring Break activities at their locations.
This breaks down to better overall management of the 2 month-long event coupled with a more strategic advertising aimed at positive Spring Break messaging. No additional monies will be allocated to marketing or advertising Spring Break (only towards advertising “Spring Break Responsibly” which should fall somewhere between $12-$15,000 in total). Basically, no MTV, no bucketloads of money to the event and much stronger police presence throughout the beach. The question remains as to whether or not this will satisfy everyone, but it is, incontestably, a very good start.