August Bed Tax Numbers up 15% Year Over Year

Having just realized that I never did a bed tax revenue report for August, I wanted to get this out real quick.  August this year seemed strong in our own vacation rental business and that seems to be confirmed with the huge increase in total revenue year over year for the month, in Panama City Beach.

Just a look at perspective, for 2011 we averaged $1524 of total revenue per property for the month here at Panama City Beach Luxury Properties and for 2012 we averaged $3614 of total revenue per property for the month – which as you can see is a 137% increase.  Of course, the fact that we have several more higher income properties this year over last year ways heavily on this.  🙂

For the industry, bed tax revenue collections were over 15% up for August 2012 over August 2011 and rang in at a total of $1,253,350.77

A close look at the numbers.
  • August 2012 – $1,253,350.77 – single point:  $250,670.15 – 15.35% up over previous year
  • August 2011 – $1,086,541.59 – single point:  $217,308.32 – 34.5% up over previous year
  • August 2010 – $807,936.59 – single point:  $161,587.32 – 14.7% DOWN over previous year
  • August 2009 – $807,936.59 – single point:  $189,519.23 – 2.5% up over previous year
  • August 2008 – $554,578.90 – single point:  $184,859.63 – 4.2% up over previous year
  • August 2007 – $532,047.94 – single point:  $177,349.31
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  32.3% up.

Industry wide in Bay County for August 2012, $25,067,015.40 was generated in reported room-night revenue.

The numbers from the previous months this year
  • July 2012 – $3,007,148.42 – up 1.52% over previous 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

Light up the Night In Sandestin for Shelterhouse

This coming weekend is Run for the Redfish at Pier Park then the weekend after, many of our PCB Daily friends are headed to Sandestin’s Baytowne Marina to light up the night with the Luminaria Run to END Domestic Violence at 5 pm on Saturday, December 8th.


Shelter House, the domestic violence center serving nearby Okaloosa and Walton counties, is once again teaming up with Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort for a unique twilight run that will shine the light on domestic violence in our area.

The Luminaria Run to End Domestic Violence will take place on Saturday, December 8, starting and ending at Sandestin’s Baytowne Marina. The course will be lined with more than 2,000 luminarias, lighting the path for the runners.


The race includes 5k and 9k courses winding throughout Sandestin. “We chose the 9k distance to represent that a woman is assaulted or beaten every nine seconds in the U.S.,” explained Shelter House Executive Director Michelle Sperzel. “The luminarias symbolize how Shelter House and our community partners light the way to a safer place for victims of domestic violence.”


Children are encouraged to participate in the run. This family-friendly event will include a party at the finish line featuring s’mores, thanks to the Destin Dream Team  and hot cocoa to keep us warm courtesy of San Gelato.


This is a twilight race starting at 5pm. Registration for the 5k is $25 for adults in advance or $35 on site and $10 for children in advance or $15 on site. The 9k race costs $40 in advance or $50 on race day for adults and $15 in advance and $20 on race day for children. Walkers are also welcome.


Luminary bags will be labeled and placed along the course in honor or in memory of loved ones. Bags are available through a $10 donation to Shelter House and can be purchased at the Shelter House office in Fort Walton Beach or on site the day of the race.


 If you want to make a weekend out of it, you can……Sandestin is offering special rates for race participants wishing to stay at the resort. Call 800-622-1038 for reservations or reserve online at with the group code HOUSE2.


To register, please go to or For more information on the race, sponsorships or luminary bags, call Shelter House at 850-243-1201.


You can also stay tuned into the Luminaria Run via some of the Event’s generous media sponsors such as,, and Destin Shines.


The inaugural Luminaria Run drew more than 260 runners last year and raised over $7,000 to help keep abused women and children safe.



Shelter House, Inc. is a state certified domestic violence center serving Okaloosa and Walton Counties and offering emergency confidential shelter, crisis counseling, a 24-hour hotline, children’s programs, information and referrals, education, professional training, safety planning and prevention services to survivors of domestic violence and their children.


If you feel that a family member or intimate partner is endangering your physical or emotional safety or if you know someone experiencing this in their home, call Shelter House’s hotline at 1-800-44-ABUSE or 850-863-4777.


Shelter House depends on the generous heart of many local small businesses including but not limited to: ERA Realty of NWFL, Waterstone Mortgage, Dixie Electric Car, Emerald Coastierge, Pleat & Perry, Run with It, Pyroshows, Golds Gym, BE Events, KIND Bars, Furry Fanatics, Think it Wear it Express, Lululemon, NWFL Track Club, Emerald Coast Chiropractic, Chobani, Marriot Courtyard, Beach-N-Bakery, GLAS Designs, Silversands Premium Outlets, Wagley Design, Off the Vine and Many MORE!


Come See Me Speak Wednesday

Many of you have supported us in the past in attending our speaking events, and for that, I am ever so thankful.  We have had many great workshops and have met so many loyal readers over the years.  We appreciate all of you and we recognize PCBDaily wouldn’t be what it is without you.  🙂 Now that I’ve got the pleasantries out of the way, here comes the solicitation!

This year’s final Lunch and Learn is Wednesday, November 28th and I really want you to come.  I’ll be speaking on Failure and how essential it is to learn the things you need to know in order to succeed.  

I’m not the only speaker – there will actually be four of us – read below.

There is a cost, but I can assure you, you’ll be glad you came – it’s $20 per person if you’re a Chamber member (Beach) and $25 per person if you’re not a member (remember, we are serving lunch).

I’d say you could just show up, but we need to get an idea on how many people we are feeding!

Please call Marta at (850) 235-1159 and let her know you’re coming.  Or you can email her here at

The Lunch and Learn will be held at Gulf Coast State College private dining room / Student Union East (behind the student cafeteria) from 11:30 am to 1 pm.

Beach Chamber’s Navigator Committee is evolving.

I was invited to participate in the Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce’s Navigator committee nearly 2 years after it was conceived.  This committee has been instrumental in small business instruction and motivation over the years, but in the sprit of change–in my first meeting, no doubt–we began conceptualizing a fresh direction in which to take this committee. While the lunch and learn format had been considered to be a success, many committee members expressed that they wanted to see something different, based on their input from the community.

Over the last two years there have been many great speakers but many members felt like it was time for a change.  Change is good, right?  Yes! With this meeting a new direction was briefly defined and subsequent meetings were setup to give this direction some substance and solidarity. Along with this new direction sparked a new idea for regular get-togethers in a “socially-learning” environment, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

Final Lunch and Learn – The Challenge of Change

Presented by Southwest Airlines and sponsored by Gulf Coast Chiropractic, this event will be a blast and fuel you with the ideas you need to send you back to work energized. Plus – you’ll have a chance to win a free Southwest Airlines ticket!

This Wednesday is the Chamber’s final Lunch and Learn of 2012 before the new direction takes action in January.  And this workshop will serve as a segway to what you can expect from this committee in 2013. Titled The Challenge of Change, the speakers (myself included) are going to talk about “their insights on tools to help navigate the challenges of change, including a discussion on mastermind groups, goal-setting, managing time, and how failure can instigate change…and success.”

Press Release

In this presentation, four speakers will share their insights on tools to help navigate the challenges of change, including a discussion on mastermind groups, goal-setting, managing time, and how failure can instigate change…and success.

James Johnson from Gulf Coast Chiropractic & Rehab will speak on Mastermind Groups and the power in these “like-minded brainstorming sessions.” From having the initial conversa¬tion, to seeing a vision and taking action together, the possibilities are abundant.

Brent Garrison from North Florida Financial will present Five Principles of Goal Setting, where he’ll outline a few simple rules to follow when setting and tracking goals. “If you don’t know where you’re going,” he states, “you’ll undoubtedly end up someplace else.”

David Balmer from Dale Carnegie Training of the Emerald Coast will discuss strategies, tools and techniques for Managing Time and “identifying and overcoming time-wasters.”

I’ll be talking about failure and how important it is to success. This is one of my favorite topics to speak on as literally every success is a direct derivative of some failure we’ve had and what we learned from it.

Probably one of the simplest depictions of how important failure is was portrayed in Walt Disney’s Meet the Robinsons, where they coined the phrase, “Keep Moving Forward,” describing that after failure you need to keep faith and continue to move forward. I just heard a quote in a sales book that said, “thank you for telling me ‘no’, as that is one ‘no’ closer to a yes, and I have to have so many ‘no’s’ before I get to a ‘yes.'”

IdeaWorks IdeaCamp, coming soon.

The next evolutionary step from the Lunch and Learns will be the IdeaCamp – a platform in which attendees can take turns speaking about things they want to share that can help motivate, encourage or spark ideas for those listening.  The “presentations” are ideally success driven experiences that are business related and goaled with giving everyone ideas on how they can improve their business in one way or another.

If you’re familiar with the BarCamp structure, then this will be a very similar feel.

The IdeaCamps will be held in the evening times in a social gathering and volunteer speakers will sign up for 15 minute slots at the beginning of the evening.  You know I’ll be speaking at everyone.  😉

Here are some of the things I’ll speak on in the coming months: 

  • – How I did it.
  • Sales 101 – How to Create something from scratch.
  • Case Study – Email marketing for our vacation rental company.
  • Case Study – Direct mail marketing for our vacation rental company.

So, please come to our final Lunch and Learn tomorrow!

Something Wild about Wild Heron

There’s something wild about
Wild Heron…
three fabulous new offerings in one of the most pristine communities in Panama City Beach.


Deal 1 is a  3/3.5 Wild Heron Tennis Villa for only $289,000
PRISTINE and amazing condition…. looks like new in this over 2500 square foot home
Gourmet kitchen, top of the line appliances, wine cooler,  exquisite cabinetry and commercial grade dishwasher
Coastal Craftsman style and finishes with upgraded lighting and white oak wood flooring throughout!!!
Attached garage and amazing community amenities such as pool, walking and fitness trails, gated community with guard and boat house with kayaks and canoes for your use.
Deal #2 is a Bungalow style 3 bedroom home for $339,000
Over 2500 square feet with a double detached garage
Brazillian cherry floors
Gourmet open kitchen and dining and living area all open
Large bedrooms with a master down stairs
adorable front patio for nice afternoons and right down from the community pool
Deal #3 is a 4 bedroom bungalow for $374,000
Over 2600 square feet and double attached garage
Gorgeous granite with Master down and extra large master bath.
Darling front porch with open feel to the living area.
Precious balcony off of one of the bedrooms


CONFIRMED List of Stores for Pier Park North [REPORT]

The list of stores slated for Pier Park North is small but seems to be growing very quickly cites an anonymous source.  There has been a lot of speculation as to what stores are coming and it has been confirmed  as to which ones are definite and which ones are in the works.

Here are some of our past articles about Pier Park North.

Confirmed list of stores.

Here is a full size plat map.

Working on LOI:

  • America’S Best
  • Aspen Dental
  • Best Buy
  • Cato
  • Family Christian
  • Hibachi Cafe
  • Logan’S Roadhouse
  • Mattress Firm
  • Newt’S Cafe
  • Orange Leaf
  • Sally Beauty
  • Wine World

Working On Lease:

  • Bed Bath & Beyond
  • Great Clips
  • Kirkland’S
  • Maharaja’S Jewelers
  • Men’S Warehouse
  • Petco
  • Pier 1
  • Ross
  • Shoe Carnival

Leases Signed:

  • Dicks
  • Lee Nails & Spa
  • Michaels
  • Rooms To Go


  • Chili’s
  • Leslie’s Pool

Do You Make a Mean Chili?…..Check out First EVER Chili-Palooza!

Into the Blue Surf and Sport is sponsoring a Children’s Charity Chili Cook Off Saturday, December 1st at Adventures at Sea on North Lagoon Drive in Panama City Beach.

The family friendly event will take place from 12 noon to 6 pm and feature the fares of local Chili Enthusiasts, live music and a good time.  All event entry fees will benefit local charities, of which Into the Blue Owners Tony and Erik say “are in the greatest need this time of year with the holidays coming up.”  The event is also an official “Coats for Kids” drop-off point and will also be accepting canned good donations for the Panama City Rescue Mission.

If you make a mean Chili and you want to help out your fellow Bay County residents, you can do it with only a $25 entry fee and your friends can come out to support you for just $10, kids admission is $5.00.  Participants will be asked to bring their own equipment and set up their wares at 11 am before event kicks off at noon.

For more information about Chili-Palooza, please call 850- 588-7376 or stop by Into the Blue Surf and Sport at 4032 Thomas Drive Suite C.


Complete Restaurant Guide for This Thanksgiving

For many reasons, fall is one of my absolute favorite times of year.  Business is slow offering some time to rest and hang out with the kids, the weather is cool, but not cold which makes being outside an absolute joy, and the holiday season brings excitement, joy and family time.

Thanksgiving is a time of giving thanks, and it’s also a time for FOOD!.  Having our Thanksgiving meal at home is bitter-sweet as we love preparing delicious food and love even more the leftovers that lasts for weeks.  Wait, who am I kidding, if you’re like our family, we’re tired of the leftovers by Friday!

And for us, every couple of years we like to shake things up and skip all the preparation and go out.  Just think of it: no grocery shopping, no preparing, no waiting for hours while being tantalized by the smell, and no clean up.  Or, if you’re visiting Panama City Beach for the holidays and don’t want to cook in your condo, you need a wonderful restaurant to cater to your every whim.

We called around to every place we could think of and this is the list we came up with of restaurants that are open for Thanksgiving for 2012.  If you know of others, or if you’re place is open, just let us know in comments and we’ll do our best to get it updated timely.

Thanksgiving Restaurants

Sharky’s Beachfront Restaurant – Thanksgiving Buffet – $15.95 to $23.95 (kids 4 and under free) – 11am to 6pm

Saltwater Grill – “Traditional Buffet” – $21.99 (adults), $10.99 (kids), 3 and under free – 11am to 9pm

Dirty Dick’s – Thanksgiving Menu – $24.99 – 11am to 6pm

Wicked Wheel – Regular menu starting at $10.99 – 11:30 to 8pm

Boatyard – Reservations only – Special Menu – 4 people or more at $24.99 a person – 11am to 6pm

Also, be sure to check the comments.

Since I have published this article, there have been a good variety of others that have posted their restaurants in the comments section.  Please keep an eye on it for some updates (below).

Here are the ones as of this update.

Pineapple Willy’s – 11am to 8pm

Mike’s Diner and Oyster Bar


Shades Bar and Grill



More Pier Park North Information Surfaces

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

The concept of Pier Park North in Panama City Beach is beginning to solidify as more information has been released about it on a lease, development and management company’s website, Casto. If you remember, the buzz around Pier Park North began shortly after talks about Walmart opening a new store began.  In fact, if you look at all the chatter over the last 12 months, it looks like we’re heading right into a commercial development boom.

With the 5 year anniversary of Pier Park (proper) coming up in February, many can attest to the success it’s had in not only offering immense shopping, dining and entertainment opportunities, but also effectively creating a greater sense of community in Panama City Beach. If you think back before Pier Park, where else did we have a place for 25,000+ people to gather to celebrate the New Year holiday?

List of tenants.

If you remember back in the day when legitimate talks about Pier Park began to surface, there were all sorts of retail brands thrown about as confirmed future tenants.  Of course, some of those actually materialized, but many did not.  I had the great pleasure of working with the leasing and development staff very early on to ensure I was reporting on accurate information.  I was told repeatedly the retailers cited on the development plans were not representing actual signed leases but rather the types of retailers that would be fitting for particular areas.

I only underscore this as the list of following tenants should not be assumed to be confirmed.

The current “marketing” concept map includes the following tenants (in no particular order):

  • Rooms To Go
  • Havertys
  • Petco
  • Shoe Carnival
  • Ross
  • Pier 1 Imports
  • Kirkland’s
  • Michaels
  • Bed Bath & Beyond
  • Best Buy
  • Dick’s
  • Logan’s Roadhouse
  • Mattress Firm
  • Men’s Wearhouse

When looking on the Casto’s page on their website for this property, the key tenants cited only include:

  • Dick’s
  • Bed Bath & Beyond
  • Ross
  • Best Buy
  • Michaels
  • Rooms to Go

This leaves one to wonder one of two interpretations; 1) The “key tenants” are the ones from the list that are actually signed lessees  or 2) the “key tenant” list is just a random sample of what is projected as ideal tenants.

I can tell you that I for one, would be ecstatic to see a Best Buy come in, along with RTG and many of the others.  It would really diversify the offering we see on the beach for places that carry items that our clients and guests have need for their properties or while on vacation.

You can view the brochure here. 

Concept, design and look and feel.

While there aren’t necessarily development conceptual elevations displayed per se, they definitely have an image that depicts a very similar look and feel the the existing Pier Park motif that we’ve all come to know and love.  And of course, seeing this image reminds us that to move in a different direction of something that has been so successful just wouldn’t make sense.  I for one am genuinely hoping for a consistent look and feel and can assure you it is essential to create the seamless, well-thought-out appearance that Panama City Beach has been so rigorously working hard to achieve.

The imagery depicts light, yet bright, beachy colors, look-out tower styled accents and tall cabana looking awnings.  Some of the storefronts in the one picture displayed definitely show staged facades that offer dimension and could create recreation and lounging areas not unlike Pier Park has now.  From what I’ve observed in the plans, it doesn’t look to have nearly as much offset, though, as the existing Pier Park.

And right in the middle, there is a Pier Park logo.  Remember, St. Joe owns the Pier Park trademark.

Development timeline.

If you remember, the article we published about Pier Park North in January cited a ground breaking possible in March of this year.  As I’m sure you can surmise, that didn’t happen.  Since the last article, I suspect some changes have been made in how the whole new development will come about.  I’m hinted at this because in the new lease marketing collateral, I see no mention of Glimcher, the original mall developer partner that St. Joe was working with.

Of course, it’s also important to note that until any “official” announcements are made about this project, everything here is purely speculation.

In my most recent correspondence from Mel Leonard, the Director of Planning for Panama City Beach, he said:

We are waiting for them to submit landscaping and buffering plans. They recently submitted the traffic study and are still working through the transportation improvements that will be required as well as some utility issues. They have said they want to have an approved development order and begin land clearing in December. That is still possible but it could slip until January if all issues do not get resolved soon.

From land clearing to fully developed, the existing Pier Park took around a year to develop.  So, assuming everything is lining up, I would think we should see Pier Park North come online for the 2014 rental season.

Aaron Bessant Park Amphitheater Structure is UP

In this third and final installment of construction updates in the Pier Park general area in Panama City Beach, the Aaron Bessant Park amphitheater has raised its hand and remarked that its structure is up and the roof is in place. Having been under construction for just a short period, you can actually see the final product as its come up from the ashes of the previous structure commonly referred to as “The Claw.”

For a recount of all the features this new amphitheater will have, click here.


In this shot you can see the entire front front of the new Aaron Bessant Park amphitheater.  If you’re down here, I highly recommend walking over to check it out in person.  It’s really quite large and very exciting!

This shot was taken from the back right (southwest) of the building.  Behind those already-colored walls will be the dressing rooms and admin office.  The large opening in the center under the peak of the roof structure will be where the hangar doors are that will be able to be opened.

This is a closer look at the large opening directly behind the stage.  For scale, you can see the man in the middle by the boards leaning on the scaffolding.  I’d assume he’s an average height.  The structure really is quite tall.

This shot is from the southeast side of the building.  The large opening in the middle of the shot on the easterly facing wall is where the tractor trailers could pull up and load/unload.

This gives you a better view of the loading/unloading area.

This is the new restroom facility behind the existing facility

This is a shot from the very back of the venue grounds.  Directly behind me and to the right is the bathroom facilities.  You can see from this shot that this will be a very sweet and grandly improved venue.  So exciting!!!

Powell Adams Road CRA Treatment Begun (Pier Park)

The new road way that’s accompanying the new Walmart is beginning to materialize. If you remember, concurrent with the new Walmart in Panama City Beach next to Pier Park, Powell Adams road is getting the same treatment as the CRA reconstructed roadways found elsewhere on the beach. Wow, that was a mouthful.

The new roadway will be four lanes with a curbed median and a traffic signal at the Pamama City Beach Parkway (Back Beach Road) intersection. There will be sidewalks, street lights and all underground utilities.

To get an example of what we can expect this to look like upon completion, click here.

This will be an exceptionally nice additional entrance experience for Pier Park.


I know it doesn’t seem like much to look at now, but what you do see is the beginnings of something that will be very beautiful.  If you’ve seen what they’ve done in the other CRA areas, you know this will be a much needed transformation of a very heavily used road right next to what some have begun to call “downtown Panama City Beach.”

Over the coming months, the vantage point of which these photos were taken will change dramatically.

To the right of this shot is the Walmart building, and to the left is Target.  That roadway on the left is the existing Powell Adams roadway.

This shot is facing south with Walmart to the left and Target to the right.