The “Top” of 2011

Heading into 2012 many reflect and look back on the year behind them.  Here are a few lists to help you stroll down memory lane!  If you are looking for something specific Time has a full list of the top 10 things in a list of categories!

Google’s Top Searches in 2011

  1. Rebecca Black
  2. Google+
  3. Ryan Dunn
  4. Casey Anthony
  5. Battlefield 3
  6. iPhone 5
  7. Adele
  8. Tepco (The city ordered to evacuate after the earthqakes shook Japan and the Fukushima plant)
  9. Steve Jobs
  10. iPad 2

The Top 10 Franchises from 2011

  1. Hampton Hotels
  2. Subway
  3. 7-Eleven Inc.
  4. Servpro
  5. Days Inn
  6. McDonald’s
  7. Denny’s Inc.
  8. H & R Block
  9. Pizza Hut Inc.
  10. Dunkin’ Donuts

Most Popular Twitter Hashtags

  1. #egypt
  2. #tigerblood
  3. #threewordstoliveby
  4. #idontunderstandwhy
  5. #japan
  6. #improudtosay
  7. superbowl
  8. jan25

Here is to looking back on 2011, and moving on to 2012!

Predictions for 2012 That Will Never Happen

Think of what you’d like to see happen in 2012… Now think about what you’d like to see happen, but you know won’t in a million years happen.  Those of us at PCB Daily wanted to share our list of far-fetched predictions and hopes for 2012, even though we know the likely-hood of them happening is slim-t0-none.

  • The speed limit on Back Beach road near Pier Park goes back to 55mph, and even gets raised to 70mph (everyone goes that fast anyway)
  • Panama City Beach locals will be admitted to both piers at no cost (aren’t our taxes paying for them anyway?)
  • A theme park is built in Panama City Beach (with tons of giant roller coasters)
  • IKEA finds a home in Panama City Beach (and in all of our homes)
  • A Whole Foods is built here (preferably two or three)
  • People stop complaining about the lack of jobs long enough to look at the many job listings that are emailed out daily (stop blaming for-profit corporations for making a profit)
  • Not to hear about the Mayan calendar and the end of the world again (it’s predicted to end on December 21st, 2012 by the way so get your bucket list crossed off)
What do you hope to see in 2012 that won’t really happen?

**Please note this article is meant to be comical and does not necessarily reflect the views of PCB Daily as a whole**

2011 Record Tourism in PCB

Jason Koertge has an awesome vacation rental business in Panama City Beach that focuses on remarkable properties around the Pier Park area.  They range from 1 to 3 bedrooms, they’re clean, and amazing.  He can be found at

First let me say, hi!  Now that we’re through the pleasantries, let’s get down to business!

For those of you that have been keeping an eye on the market the past 10 months, you know that Panama City Beach has seen the fruition of a huge pent-up demand for our white sandy beaches.  Coming out of a recovering market and a near cataclysmic oil spill situation, Panama City Beach was ripe for the picking this year and we have the numbers to prove it.

Following is a report on the bed tax revenue for Panama City Beach as reported to Bay County and provided to the Tourist Development Council.

Summer of 2010

The summer of 2010 should really be taken right off the record.  The tourism numbers were terrible.  Industry-related businesses all up and down the beach reported record-shattering lows, driving some out of business and others right into their savings accounts.

It was so nasty, we did a whole series on the travails.

But, just for conversation’s sake, let’s take a look at the numbers. 

  • May — — $1,075,882.69
  • June — — $1,884,269.21
  • July — — $1,967,020.33
  • August — — $807,936.59
  • September — — $795,301.87
Summer of 2009

Rolling into the summer of 2009, the spring months were record breaking.  We were experiencing a strong increase over the previous year and the summer was pacing to be the same.  Numbers were an honest 10 to 15% increase over the previous year, which is considered healthy.

Here are the numbers. 

  • May — — $998,779.40
  • June — — $1,946,037.92
  • July — — $2,302,863.86
  • August — — $947,596.17
  • September — — $795,698.44
Summer of 2011

Compared to the summer of 2010, this past summer’s bed tax revenue numbers were earthquake-inducing.  Looking at the numbers, one begins to wonder where all those people stayed.  I can tell you, with me being in the tourism business now, the summer was just absolutely nuts.  We were booked solid from June 1 through the end of August with nary a vacancy.

Here are the numbers. 

  • May — — $1,127,340.30 — 4.78% up from 2010; 11.4% up from 2009
  • June — — $2,283,706.72 — 21.2% up from 2010; 14.7% up from 2009
  • July — — $2,966,913.96 — 50.83% up from 2010; 22% up from 2009
  • August — — $1,086,541.59 — 34.48% up from 2010; 12.7% up from 2009
  • September — — $928,161.56 — 16.71% up from 2010; 14.2% up from 2009
Looks like we’re back on track.

Ya know, coming out of last year’s disaster, any improvement was a welcome sight.  But looking at the numbers over last year, it feels like we just picked up where we would have been left off, had we had a normal summer in 2010.  This is positive and encouraging considering most of us locals’ livelihood relies on tourism to feed our families.

Speaking from someone who knows, this past summer was certainly feast over famine for us, and we certainly anticipate the same for next year.

Congestion on Back Beach Road to Increase

The speed limit has been lowered to 45mph, Pier Park is attracting new stores, Wal-Mart will be calling the area home soon, and now Pier Park North is scheduled to be built. Many complain about the congestion and traffic on the stretch of Back Beach Road near Pier Park already, but with these factors those commuting through Back Beach Road should expect the congestion to increase.

While the speed-limit being lowered on Back Beach Road upset many locals at first, the new development across from Pier Park has changed a lot of opinions. Considering the traffic that the increased shopping areas will add 45mph seems necessary to ensure safety.

When the new Wal-Mart was being negotiated those who lived in the neighborhoods around Pier Park were in an uproar.  Is noise and traffic a fair price to pay for a turnaround in the economy? How do you feel now that there are many factors contributing to the increase in traffic and noise?

Ring in 2012 With a Bang!

Looking for a list of bars and clubs that are having a spectacular event for New Year’s Eve?  Here are a few options for your New Year’s party!

New Year’s Eve at Club LaVela

Panama City Beach’s Club LaVela will be partying hard to end 2011 and start 2012!  They are kicking off a new beginning for the nightclub and will be unveiling new renovations.  Over 10,000 free invites will be distributed throughout the city, which will allow you entry for a low price.

Breaker’s British and American New Year’s

Breaker’s is counting down to 2012 twice, once at 6pm when the clocks stike 12 in England and again at 12am when it’s 2012 in Panama City Beach!  There will be party favors and a champagne toast for the “British New Year’s.”  Breakers is also offering a Red, White, and Blue package including appetizers, entrees, dessert for two, and an open bar till midnight.  Make sure to make reservations for both events!

New Year’s Eve Dinner and Dance Cruise

From 9:00pm- 12:30am, join the Lady Anderson Dining Yacht for a New Year in style.  There will be a live band, appetizers, favors, toast, and dinner buffet.  Reservations are required, but make sure to reserve early- you’ll get the best seats!

Spinnaker’s Party of the Century

Spinnaker is hosting the Party of the Century this New Year’s Eve.  Dinner will be served in the Paradise Grill from 7pm-9pm, followed by a dance party from 9pm-am.  The dance party will have live music, complimentary champagne, and party favors!  Dinner does require reservations, so please email

Rock in the New Year On the Beach at Schooners

The last local beach club, Schooners, will be having a New Year’s Eve bash on the beach!  Dinner will start at 7pm, followed by the Chris LeBlanc Band, a champagne toast, and party favors!  You can view the menu and reservation information online.

NYE at the Sandpiper Beacon’s Tiki Bar

Celebrate with live music all night long!  Noisemakers, hors d’oeuvres, hats, and a midnight champagne toast promise to bring the fun in with the new year!  Visit the Sandpiper Beacon for more information.

New Year’s Eve Bash

C-Level Bar and Grill is bringing you 5 DJ’s to bring in 2012.  They will have a free champagne toast at midnight, but with advanced notice bottle service is available.  They are giving away CD’s, freebies, and a raffle for a $50 gift certificate to Skully’s Time Piece Tattoo’s.  There will be drink specials all night long.

If you are looking for more family-oriented fun, please see this article.  We hope you have a great ending to 2011 and an even better beginning to 2012!

It’s Christmas Week, Are You Looking For Something To Do?

The children are out of school, the house is decorated, cookies are baked… now what?  If you are looking for a way to spend your vacation time with your family, we have a few options for you!

Jingle Bell Swing Benefit Concert- Noah’s Ark

December 22nd, 7:00pm

For $8 a person, you can join the Cloud 9 Orchestra for concert to benefit Noah’s Ark! Noah’s Ark has a mission to make God’s presence known to visitors of Panama City Beach.  Tickets are available online.

A Very Elvis Christmas Dinner and Show- Breakers

December 23rd

Dinner specials will be available for those who choose to come early to watch the sunset from Breakers.  Starting at 8:30pm, you’ll hear “A Very Elvis Christmas” from Todd Allen Herendeen.  The tribute includes songs from Michael Jackson, Johnny Cash, Neil Diamond, The King himself – Elvis Presley, and more!

Don’t forget that Fun for the Holidays continues to run at Shipwreck Island Water Park, at the City Pier, and on Alf Coleman!

Pier Park Gets Some Competition

The economy in Panama City Beach has been improving and with that developers have decided to build a 400,000-square foot shopping center across from Pier Park.  The new development will be on the North side of Back Beach Road adjacent to Frank Brown Park on approximately 60-acres.  They are hoping to open Pier Park North by Spring 2013 after beginning construction in Spring 2012.

The outdoor shopping area has been named Pier Park North, but is a competitor rather than an expansion.  Simon Property Group owns Pier Park and its competitor Glimcher Development Group owns Pier Park North.

Leases have been signed for 50% of the space, including one large anchor store, however the Glimcher Development Group plans to announce these names at a later date.  There have been rumors of the prospective stores to call Pier Park North home.

Prospective Stores

  • Dick’s Sporting Goods
  • Bed Bath & Beyond
  • Michaels
  • Fresh Market
  • Pier 1 Imports
  • Kirklands
  • Ross Dress for Less
  • Shoe Carnival
  • Petco
  • Toys R Us
  • Rooms to Go
  • Men’s Warehouse
  • VisionWorks
  • Osaka’s
  • Cheddars

How do you think the competition will be against Pier Park?

Christmas Around the World

Depending on where you go or where you were raised, there are subtle and drastic differences in how Christmas is celebrated around the world and in our own country.

Here is a short list of traditional variations, perhaps you’d like to accomodate some into your own this year!

  • In France, instead of stockings hanging on the fireplace mantel children leave their shoes beside the fire for Papa Noel to leave candy, fruits, and nuts in.
  • In Alaska, the traditional Christmas dinner involves fish and maple dusted doughnuts.
  • In Mexico the Christmas celebrations start on December 12th (The Virgin of Guadalupe) and end on January 6th (Epiphany).  Children leave their wish list in their shoes and wake up to their gifts and statues of the Three Wise Men, who are thought to bring the toys.  Most receive gifts on Epiphany and not on Christmas.
  • Citizens of Bethlehem celebrate Christmas on several different days, depending on what faith they observe.  Crosses are painted on the door of every Christian home and each house has their own nativity scene.
  • In Japan, Christmas is mostly a commercial holiday since less than 1% of the population is Christian.  The holiday is celebrated on Christmas Eve and instead of Christmas cookies, the Japanese traditional dessert is a cake.  On Christmas day the most commonly eaten food is fried chicken.
  • Brazilians, enjoy the folk play Los Pastores (The Shepherds) which includes shepherdesses and a gypsy who attempts to kidnap the Christ Child.  Father Noel brings gifts from Greenland, but upon arrival in Brazil, changes into silk clothing due to the heat.
  • In India, Christians will decorate mango or banana trees.  They will also decorate their houses with mango leaves or small clay oil-burning lamps. Churches are decorated for Christmas services with poinsettias and candles.
  • The Polish celebrate with a tradition called Wigilia.  This tradition involves a 24-hour fast on Christmas Eve and ends with the Christmas feast.  The meal cannot begin until the first star of the night appears, honoring the star of Bethlehem.
  • In Nicaragua, many customs of old Spain are retained.  Children carry bouquets to the alter of the Virgin and sing carols in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
  • In Romania, children sing carols and read poetry while the leader carries a large decorated wooden star attached to a pole or broomstick. There is a picture of the Holy Family in the center of the decorated star.
  • Russians, fast until after the first church service on Christmas Eve.  Their Christmas Eve dinner is meatless, but includes a porridge called kutya.  Kutya is eaten from a common dish to symbolize unity.
  • Greeks rarely use Christmas trees, but symbolize the season with a shallow wooden bowl.  This bowl has a wire suspended across the rim and holds a hanging wooden cross wrapped in a sprig of basil.  Water is kept in the bowl to keep the basil alive and fresh.  The mother (typically) dips the cross and basil to holy water each day and uses it to sprinkle water in each room of the house.

Does your family have any unique traditions?  What are some traditions you’ve heard about?

Planning for New Year’s Eve? Ideas Have Arrived

Christmas is right around the corner, which means that 2012 is looming near as well!  If you aren’t sure how to spend the last moments of 2011 maybe you’ll find some inspiration in these events!

Pier Park’s 4th Annual Beach Ball Drop

Say farewell to 2011 and hello to 2012 at Pier Park with a family-friendly celebration that includes balloon artists, stilt walkers, and the release of over 7,000 beach balls.  The countdown to midnight will involve the lowering of a 800-pound beach ball and fireworks to celebrate the start of 2012.

Festivities are set to begin at 5:30pm on December 31st, 2011 with the beach ball release being scheduled for 7:00pm.

Visit previous articles to get a feel for the event:

Beach Ball Drop 2010

Pictures from 2010

A Video of 2008’s Event

3rd Annual Countdown to Seaside! A New Year’s Eve Celebration

Seaside’s festivities begin at 7pm on December 31st, 2011 and will continue into the wee hours of 2012.  The event is a family-friendly party with live entertainment, kids’ art projects, street performers, and a firework display over the Gulf of Mexico.  Performances will include Kyle Lamonica at 7pm, The David Mayfield Parade at 8:15pm, and at 10pm Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers will take the stage.  Midnight will be greeted with an amazing firework display.

From 7pm-11pm, Abrakadoodle will be offering free unique art projects for children.  These projects will include noisemakers and time capsules!  There will also be face painters to help get everyone in the festive spirit!

SHINE- A NYE Celebration in Paradise, at the Holiday Inn

The Holiday Inn is partnering with Give Kid’s The World Foundation for this year’s New Year’s Eve celebration.  A portion of the proceeds from this year’s event will help a family with a child, whose medical bills and conditions would have prevented them from enjoying their time together, make amazing memories.

They have special prices for a room, dinner, party, breakfast, and drink tickets- all including a late checkout time!  Please visit them online to see the different packages and pricing available for New Year’s Eve.  Have fun celebrating a new year for a great cause!

Make sure to have fun, because “how you start the year, is how you spend the year!”