Video Preview of New Airport

Having been under construction for two and a half years, the new airport in Panama City is finally about to open.  Dubbed Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport, the new facility boasts the title of being the first commercial airport build in the U.S. since 9/11.  Not only is the new airport expected to change the dynamics of travel to our area, many are expecting increased growth and prosperity that would have been difficult to realize without this new addition to our area.

The grand opening ceremonies are this weekend with the airport being open to the public on Saturday from 9 am to 4 pm.  But, if you can’t wait, here is a video of the new airport.

The Treasure Ship – An Update

After last month’s devastating fire at Panama City Beach’s Treasure Ship, there’s still no real news to speak of, or plans for the future of this beloved landmark. I spoke to Lisa Todd, Treasure Ship owner, who said that basically it’s just too early to know anything yet. Workers are currently removing the damaged sections of the structure to make sure that it is safe and that nothing is left precariously perching, plus carpets and ceilings are being ripped out.

The process will likely take months, and then engineers will look closely at the ship and make sure it is all structurally sound. Only then will a decision be made about the future of the Treasure Ship. “We’ve been here for 32 years and and it’s hard to let go” says Todd, “but life goes on.”

Members of the community wanting to help can do so by visiting the Treasure Island Marina and supporting the charter boats that are open and ready for business. In addition, from this Friday, May 21st, the gift shop will be open and selling Treasure Ship merchandise at 25-50% off.

Rural Development – Good News/ Bad News

As a flood of first-time homebuyers rushed to take advantage of the $8,000 tax credit the Rural Development program has been strained to the limit with a year’s allocation of funds expected to be depleted sometime tomorrow. There has been little interest in Congress to extend funding and it now appears that without a last minute vote to re-fund the program, Rural Development will be out of funds on Wednesday. This will leave lenders with only the ability to secure “conditional commitments” from Rural Development. Continue reading “Rural Development – Good News/ Bad News”

Coastal Vision 3000 Bought by FRLA

The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA) announced today the acquisition of Coastal Vision 3000, a private, non-profit tourism and economic development group in Northwest Florida.  Coastal Vision’s executive director Mel Ponder will lead the transition to FRLA over the coming months.

“The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association is proud to work with and compliment the efforts of Coastal Vision 3000,” said FRLA President and CEO Carol Dover.  “This merger will allow for greater marketing and branding efforts, and growing the economic development of Northwest Florida through the hospitality and tourism industries, one of the state’s main economic engines,” she continued.
Continue reading “Coastal Vision 3000 Bought by FRLA”

St. Andrew’s Seafood and Pirate Fest – Join the Fun!

Amid all of the concerns regarding the oil spill and after the fire at the beloved Treasure Ship, it’s time we indulged in some good old-fashioned local fun to lift our spirits. How lucky, then, that this weekend is the annual St. Andrew’s Seafood and Pirate Fest – one of Panama City’s most exciting festivals! Continue reading “St. Andrew’s Seafood and Pirate Fest – Join the Fun!”

TDC: We’re Open For For Business, But Prepared For Worst Case Scenario

On Tuesday, Mark Bowen, Chief of Emergency Services, accompanied by Lieutenant Caskey of the Coast Guard, met with the TDC and CVB to discuss plans of action in the event that the oil spill hit Panama City Beach’s shores. Chief Bowen answered questions and concerns from the board as well as from audience members in the attempt to reinforce the message that there is no impact on Panama City Beach, we’re open for business and that we are preparing diligently for that day if it comes.

The plans to manage the consequences of the event, if it happens, will consist of a booming strategy, a beach protection plan and finally, if needed, a comprehensive disposal plan of oils and any contaminated soils and sand. Continue reading “TDC: We’re Open For For Business, But Prepared For Worst Case Scenario”

Deep Horizon Oil Spill – Panama City Beach Update – NO OIL HERE

Putting all opinions aside (educated or not =) ), the growing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is a serious concern for Bay County and the beaches of Panama City Beach.  Rather than force you to read through this whole post just to find out what you are really wanting to know, I’ll save you a bit of time.  More information is below if you want it, otherwise:

As of right now, there IS NO OIL on or near the beaches of Panama City Beach.  In addition, as of right now, we are not within the “area of uncertainty” with no expectation of oil hitting our shores – today.

Check after the break for resources on how to track the spill, what Bay County is doing to prepare and what will happen if we do enter the “area of uncertainty”.

Continue reading “Deep Horizon Oil Spill – Panama City Beach Update – NO OIL HERE”