Let me preface this post by saying spring break isn’t just some event that can be shut off or closed down. It is a period of time in which students are on break from school, and they crave the leisure and activity of a tourist destination. Regardless, college age kids on spring break will want to come to the beach. We are a destination, and we’re attractive to those wanting to get away from their norm.
Now that I got that out of the way. . .
The activity on the beach the last few weeks has spurred a variety of appearances of our little beach town in national news outlets, all referencing spring break. Local Mayoral candidates are using it to strengthen their position in the race, and locals all around seem to be furious about trashed beaches, too much traffic and a damaged perception of what they desire Panama City Beach to be.
Just two of the articles Panama City Beach has shown up on USA Today’s Travel section read, “Florida spring break mecca conflicted over its wild image“, and “The 10 trashiest spring break destinations“. Of course, the later, when read, defines “trashiest” as a positive term, which for many, is equally as troubling.
Now, I’ve heard all the arguments from the businesses that seemingly do exceptionally well during this period, the businesses that heavily cater to this type of crowd. And I’ve heard the arguments from others who claim Spring Break is 35% of the annual revenue here. And while that may be the case for some, it’s certainly not the case for our rental properties. If I did rent to the college kids (which I don’t, with the exception of a very few), it would still only account for about 1/6th of our total annual revenue and still wouldn’t be worth the headaches.
You’re the pundit – tell us your opinion on Spring Break
It seemed like a couple years ago we were trying to move away from the image we seem to be entrapped in again.
So I’d like to open this up to you. You’ve been down here, you’ve read the articles, what do you think about the spring break activity we’ve had in Panama City Beach?
What do you think this activity will do to our image?
Do you think this will have a lasting impact on how our summer tourists look at our area?
Do you think we are making some summer tourist sacrifice to have a “good spring break?”