Holy Sanctuary Secret – The Beach Show’s Amazing Homes This Week

Holy cow, this week on The Beach Show we have some really amazing homes in a super secret and super charming area, Sanctuary Beach.  This area was originally envisioned as a high-end coastal craftsman community and some of the homes that were developed are on the foreclosure block at drop-dead amazing prices.

You have to check out these homes.

ZooBilee is THIS WEEKEND – $1 Admission to ZooWorld

One of everyone’s favorite local animal attractions is having their annual ZooBilee festival this weekend and they’re inviting all to come at a discounted admission rate.  With kid’s admission normally $10, the $1 admission this weekend at ZooWorld is an amazing deal for you to take the family and enjoy a day at the zoo.

If you missed the opportunity to volunteer the last time at ZooWorld, you have another shot! Read about it here.

Details about the event.

ZooBilee is an annual event where ZooWorld opens up their doors for a discounted rate to invite the public to see their amazing animal friends and raise money to help care for them.

Date: September 29 and 30

Time: 9:30 am to 5 pm (last admission 4:30 pm)

Location: 9008 Front Beach Road, Panama City Beach, 32407

Cost for admission: $1 per person

VIP parking is available onsite for $3, but it will fill up extremely fast and very early, so plan on parking at Super Walmart and taking the free Kincaid shuttle bus.

And as if seeing some of these great animals wasn’t enough fun, ZooWorld will be holding raffles, will offer photo ops with some of the animals, they’ll have pony rides, food concessions and more!

More about ZooWorld

ZooWorld is a 501(C)(3) non-profit educational facility that is open to the public daily. Home to over 260 animals including exotic and endangered species, they are supported through public donations and programs.

Some of the varieties of animals they’re home to include tigers, wolfs, leopards, lions, monkeys, bears and snakes, just to name a few.

ZooWorld is open daily from 9:30 am to 4 pm Monday through Sunday except on Thanksgiving day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

If You’ve Got the Dream…We’ve Got The Land!

A Fabulous Short Sale…
and a beautiful building lot in a great community with Grand Lagoon views and an amazing ammenity package, and even more building lots on the water, just minutes to Shell Island!

Hot deal #1 is a Golf course community home for only $234,500

Short sale GREAT DEAL!!!

Gorgeous back yard with lush vegetation and SALTWATER POOL.

sprinkler system


Split bedroom plan

Hot deal #2 is an amazing corner lot in Bay Point with WATER VIEWS for only $149,000

1/4 of an acre all cleared with Lake views

Builder plans to be furnished with Lot

12,000 square foot Serenity Spa on property along with 2 golf courses

Hot deal #3 is an amazing group of Foreclosure lots

Lots ranging in price from 30,000 up to 63,000

3 of the 4 lots are right on the water and just a few moments away from Shell Island by boat

On the eastern end of Panama City Beach in a quiet gated community

3 Reasons to Come to the Beach This Weekend

If Panama City Beach is like a second home to you, then you know that this time of year is THE BEST time of year to come to the beach.  Very little crowd, excellent weather and warm gulf water is extremely inviting–it’s even making my mouth water and I live here!  If that pesky little thing called school didn’t get in the way, this time of year’s popularity across the board would rival summer!

Fall weekends at the beach are greeted with events, great weather and super low accommodation rates, so if you haven’t planned your trip for this weekend, beleive me, it’s not too late.  Pack your swimming suit, check our rental availability calendar and head down!

1 – Amazing weather.

Fall at the beach is super special because we have consistent 80 degree days and 60 degree nights.  Warm enough to swim in the pool or take a dip in the gulf, this time of year is so perfect.

Panama City Beach this past summer had tons of rain.  It felt like it rained almost every day!  Many of us locals were grateful for the water, but I know the tourists were asking us to do anti-rain dances.  🙂

For about the last 3 weeks, the days have been clear and we’ve been blessed with deep blue skies, emerald green waters and flat seas.  When it is like this, swimming in the gulf is like swimming in an enormous salt-water swimming pool.  It’s a blast to play with the kids in the smaller surf or just relax in the water and let the salt soak in and sun rays warm your body.  It’s therapeutic, really.

This weekend, the weather is very promising with daily highs in the mid to upper 80’s, sunshine and lows (at night) in the mid to upper 60’s.  Wind is predicted to be very low which will ensure flat surf, keeping the water clear and beautiful.

Yesterday afternoon I was hanging on my back deck with my mom and we were commenting on how perfect it felt outside.  Not too hot, nor too cold.  Just perfect.

2 – Cheap accommodation rates.

When school’s in session, it’s no secret that the beach slows down a lot.  Travel schedules are limited and demand for beach rentals goes way down.  With that, with the natural principle of supply and demand, accommodation rates come way down too.  In many cases, the cost of getting into your favorite condo or beach home is half what it cost in July, sometimes less!

For example one of our 1 bedroom 2 bathroom condos in Sterling Breeze would normally cost around $522 for three nights in July, but right now, it’s just $89 a night.  And properties all up and down the beach are negotiable just to keep some revenue momentum up through the end of our fall season.

When I’m shopping around using VRBO, I always just send inquiries through with an offer of what I can afford to pay at that time and many times I find several that are willing to work with me.

3 – Have the beach to yourself.

With travel demand down this time of year, much of the beach’s attractions and amenities are slower than they are in the summer.  This means fewer lines, shorter wait times and less traffic.  You’ll be surprised at how many people are still coming to the beach, but the sheer volume is definitely much less than summer time.

There are many local businesses that close their doors in the off-season, but for them that doesn’t come around until after October is over.  This time of year is amazing because all the perks of summer attractions still exist, but with far fewer crowds.  Grocery stores are easier to shop at, parking is easier to find and the beach itself is less crowded so you can find your perfect spot.

Summer at the beach is great, but us “locals” know that fall is the best time of year to come.  Amazing weather, cheap rates and fewer crowds make this time of year in Panama City Beach the perfect time of year to make a quick weekend trip to the beach.

ZooWorld Needs YOUR Help This Weekend

Remember when we did that awesome service project at ZooWorld a few months back?  We had an amazing turnout with over 75 people showing up to help.  If you missed your chance then, there’s another opportunity to serve this weekend at this great local attraction

ZooBilee is this weekend and ZooWorld is looking for a few dozen caring people to come help out with the extremely large crowd of people that attends this annual event.

Time and details of the event.

Date: September 29 and 30

Time: 9:30 am to 5 pm (last admission 4:30 pm)

Location: 9008 Front Beach Road, Panama City Beach, 32407

Cost for admission: $1 per person

Some of the areas that volunteers will be working include parking, dunking booth, food concessions, security, raffles, etc.

There are three shifts: 9 am to 1:30 pm, 12 pm to 5 pm and all-day.

Who to contact if interested.

These events are amazing and super fun to volunteer at.  Service is one of the best ways to help your community and it feels great too!

If you’re interested, just get in touch with Stephanie at 850-230-4839.  The sooner the better.

Cottage Collages Turns Trash to Treasure



With all this talk of being green, there is few of us that actually do it.  So I find it intriguing when someone’s entire business utilizes cast off materials.

That is what Linda Shannon of Cottage Collages off of Hwy 79 in Panama City Beach does every day. And she is not the only one, many local craftsmen and artisans are taking to using reclaimed wood and fabrics to turn the ordinary into something extraordinary….trash to treasure.

“I take things that are normally cast aside, broken furniture, excess wood….and I turn them into something useful”, the longtime resident, Mrs. Shannon says.

I find Linda refreshing because in a day and age full of ordering off Pottery Barn and IKEA online, here is a hardworking women that uses her creative  resourcefulness to turn out one of a kind pieces of furniture for area residents at affordable prices, and all with a spirit of gratitude.

“I feel very blessed to do what I do, I get to do something I love, not everyone can say that”, Linda says to me when she is talking about her work.





When I asked what her favorite materials are, she said she loved it all, but utilizes reclaimed wood most of the time.  Aged Pine and driftwood are very popular materials favored by many of her customers right now as the rustic, coastal look is very popular, especially along Hwy 30A.

“I started this by accident” she says, “many years ago as a hardworking mom, I did not have the money for pretty things for my house, so I just found a way to make my own….then I realized I liked it”, Shannon, owner of Cottage Collages says.  She said her favorite part of her work, is the transformation process of it, turning “nothing into something.”

We are so glad for her happy accident inspired by her resourcefulness over two decades ago, for it developed into a niche that supplies us with beautiful and yet functional pieces, some you can see in Peaches to Beaches on Back Beach Road near the Fire Station just West of Hwy 79, and if you are in Walton County…..Retail Therapy (where Scavengers was) off of Hwy 98.

Cottage Collages, not unlike many other local artisans, likes to support local craft fairs and artist markets, often times choosing events that are fundraising for a cause, rather it be a domestic violence shelter or an animal shelter, she often tithes a percentage of her earnings back to the cause.

For example, you can see her work next weekend at the ” 2nd Annual Share the Shelter Music Fest” on Sept. 29th in Gulf Place benefiting Shelter House and Alaqua Animal Refuge.

Other upcoming shows:

Oct 19th and Oct 20th @ the Angel’s Garden in Pensacola

Oct 27th @ Harvest Market in Rosemary Beach

And Saturday, November 3rd she is back on Panama City Beach, at the 2nd Annual “Celebrate the Arts” co-hosted by Cerulean Interiors and Beachy Beach Real Estate.  The intimate local artists market is an avenue to provide monetary support for Beach Care Services, an organization that helps Bay County families in need.

If you would like to find out more about Cottage Collages or commission her to create something just for your home or business, you can give her a call at 850-774-8812, visit her Facebook page or shoot her an email at: lindacottagecollages@gmail.com.


July Bed Tax Revenue Numbers UP 1.59% over 2011

Summer’s almost over and July was another banner bed tax revenue month.  April, May and June were record breaking months and July just barely cinched an improvement coming in at 1.59% over last year’s numbers.

A close look at the numbers.
  •  July 2012 – $3,009,385.67 – single point:  $601,877.13 – 1.59% up over previous year
  • July 2011 – $2,962,268.09 – single point:  $592,453.62 – 50.6% up over previous year
  • July 2010 – $1,967,020.33 – single point:  $393,404.07 – -14.6% up over previous year
  • July 2009 – $2,302,863.86 – single point:  $460,572.77 – 2.7% up over previous year
  • July 2008 – $1,345,540.63 – single point:  $448,513.54 – -3.2% up over previous year
  • July 2007 – $1,389,711.37 – single point:  $463,237.12
When considering gains, it’s always fun to look at where we are in comparison to where we were a few years ago.  For example, before the oil spill, many considered the 2008 summer tourism season a good baseline for strong tourism.  When compared to that year, 2012 is  34.2% up.

Industry wide in Bay County for July 2012, $60,187,713.40 was generated in room-night revenue.

The numbers from the previous months this year
  • June 2012 – $2,737,780.66 – up 19.88% over previous year
  • May 2012 – $1,408,512 – up 24.95% over previous year
  • April 2012 – $1,270,835.84 – up 4.45% over previous year
  • March 2012 – $1,769,821.69 – up 19.38% over previous year