“Clean, safe and open for business,” were the words spoken by our nation’s First Lady, Michelle Obama, as she stood on Panama City Beach’s shores on her visit to the area. The visit came on a day when the beach was beautiful, gorgeous blue skies hung cloudless above and the presence of our First Lady shined a spotlight on a city and an area in need of good coverage.
With casual attire and a charming smile, Michelle Obama opened by happily exclaiming she had sand in her toes. Our first lady focused on positive news for Panama City Beach. She emphasized that hopeful measures are on the horizon in containing the oil (that has been spewing for 81 days now). She was clear and concise about the fact that our beaches are “Clean, safe, and open for business!”, and went on to bluntly say, “The best way (for others) to help is to come on down here, and spend some money!”. You can imagine the cheers she received from Panama City Beach residents who have been nervous to say the least, throughout this ordeal. The first lady went on to admire the beauty our beaches have to offer, and spoke highly of our “extraordinary hospitality”.
After concluding her presentation, our First Lady shook hands with those in the audience, and took a walk on the beach behind The Boardwalk Beach Resort with Panama City Beach Mayor Galye Oberst, and Panama City Beach Convention and Visitor’s Bureau CEO, Dan Rowe.
First Lady Michelle Obama told us nothing we didn’t already know. No major issues were discussed, such as how we can avoid horrible disasters like this in the future. However, her visit placed a spotlight on our area. An area that is beautiful, clean, and OPEN FOR BUSINESS!!