Readers of PCBDaily – The Old Gang is Back!

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 lurat PCBLP.com.

If you’ve been reading PCBDaily for a while, you probably remember a couple years ago when I sold PCBDaily to CYber SYtes.  You see, I had some grand plan that involved climbing the corporate ladder, at some point returning to school to get my graduate degree and just following where life took me.  Well, as life goes, the direction changed sporadically and somewhat unpredictably along the way.

Instead of climbing the corporate ladder, I accepted a position with CYber SYtes (who bought PCBDaily from me), and instead of going to graduate school, I decided to teach others how to do social media.  And of course, in the spirit of a true entrepreneur, working for someone else really began to wear on me.  So my wife and I started PCBLP.com, a vacation rental business, to build a more solid future for our kids.

So, that brings us to today.

After a year of explosive growth with PCBLP.com and almost exactly 2 years to the day, PCBDaily.com is back in the arms of it’s creator.  A part of me always resented the fact that that I sold it.  I know many of our readers certainly missed me.  But the last two years was necessary for me to be where I am and necessary for where the future of PCBDaily will be.

PCBDaily has always been the go to place for news and information specific to Panama City Beach and we want it to stay that way.  You’ve always been able to rely on us to find out what’s going on and keep tabs with the local current events.  We’re back, and we’re making plans for it to be even better!

But, I’m not alone.

I founded PCBDaily.com in 2006.  I ran it alone for three years but decided to instigate some growth in 2009 when I brought on board two very important assets.  With these assets, PCBDaily could have never instilled the value it now has today.  Each of them have been missing a part of their heart as the ownership of PCBDaily was held by CYber SYtes.

This second time around I have two partners in making the PCBDaily magic.  These two partners have always had as much passion for PCBDaily as I’ve had and offered not a moment’s hesitation when the opportunity of partnership came up.

Karen Smith

You probably know her.  Everyone knows her.  She’s the broker/owner of Beachy Beach Real Estate and her kind, fun-loving spirit, so generous she’ll literally give you everything she has and be thankful for the opportunity to do so is literally unforgettable.  She’s always had a passion for PCBDaily and she was one of our first paid advertisers.

She stuck with us from thick to thin and even stayed with it for the duration it was out of my hands.  She wrote for it when she could and she co-founded TheBeachShow with me in 2009.  She’s a real estate extraordinaire and has the awards to prove it.  And she’s so humble she’ll probably ask me to pull these glowing remarks down to subdue her blushing.

Now, she’s a partner in PCBDaily – part owner, equal contributor and 100% awesome.  You can expect regular episodes of TheBeachShow to come back and hear from her smiling face often about what’s happening in the real estate market.

Cebo Campbell

When I first hired Cebo to write for PCBDaily.com years ago, he was relatively new to the business community here, new to web development, but certainly not new to writing.  Having already been a published author, he certainly has taught me a thing or two.  He was, humorously, regularly dubbed my sidekick, of which a label did no justice for who/what he really was to me and PCBDaily.

Having grown to be not only my best friend (yes, Cebo, other than my wife, you are my BFF), he’s taught me about life, writing and work ethic.  While at first I was “mentoring” him on how to market, he’s far surpassed my skills and become a very high-paid talent to countless others around the country.  His skills are shown all over the place, and you’ll continue to see them as the future wears on.

His heart was always in PCBDaily and his passion was obvious in everything he wrote.  It really only made sense that he too was a partner in the new PCBDaily.  He’ll be writing about tourism, technology and current events.

What’s coming up.

PCBDaily has always been your source of news and information relating to real estate, growth and tourism in Panama City Beach, and it will continue to be so.  But, with that, we’re taking the reason for our being to a different level.  In years past, this was ran as a business – trying to generate revenue from ad sales.  Moving forward, there will be no drive to make money directly from ad sales.  In fact, we’re going to remove many of the ad spots, and won’t be taking any paid ads at all.

We want to provide quality information about the area and we hope that you’ll support us through our other businesses.

There will still be some ads.  Choice, non-competing businesses that want to trade some of their products or services will get in exchange the opportunity to advertise along with feature articles and Newsletter promotion.  But this will be kept at a minimum.

Plus, the newsletter will be redesigned and begin going back out weekly – I know a lot of you have asked for this.

We’d like to go back to having regular giveaways and contests and continue with community involvement.

We’re super stoked to have the team back together and to have PCBDaily in its rightful hands.  Tell us in the comments below what you’d like to see us do, moving forward!

 

Mitt Romney Surprises Panama City with a Visit

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 lurat PCBLP.com.

Regardless of your political affiliation, when a president or president hopeful comes to our neck of the woods, it’s something to take note of.  You may remember, not long ago President Obama came to our beach.  Love him or hate him, he’s still the president, and he along with all the journalists that were following him know about Panama City Beach.  Now, let’s add what could be our next President – Mitt Romney.  Grant it, we couldn’t get him on the beach, he was pressed for time, but at least our general area got some press!

Being a fellow Mormon, I have a natural attraction to Mitt and his position on how to run a country.  Of course, the fact that he runs a tight business ship and wants to make America better for business helps a lot too.  Being a small business owner myself, we need all the help we can get!

Anyway, I didn’t intend on this being a political soap box for me to share my views on who would be a great president (you can see why he’d be great here), just wanted to let you know he was here and share some pictures!

What do you want to hear about?

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 lurat PCBLP.com.

Ok, so I’ve worked out a deal with the owners of PCBDaily to be a regular contributor again, and I have some ideas on what to write about.  But, I want to hear from you what you’d like for us to report on.

There are a number of things going on up and down the beach.  Here is what I’m planning on writing about in the next couple weeks.

  • State of the real estate market
  • 2012 tourism predictions
  • Update on the Aaron Bessant Park improvements
  • Update on the Thomas Drive CRA construction
  • How to rent your condo all by yourself
  • Revise the Pier Park list of stores
  • Revise the Pier Park list of restaurants
  • An article on a new residential development

These are some of the things I’m planning on writing about.  What are some of the things you’d like to see?  Let us know in the comments below.

Where to Retire Magazine Features PCB

While most people think of Panama City Beach as a place for family vacations, college spring breaks, or weekend motorcycle trips- Where to Retire magazine thinks of the area as a place perfect for retirees.  The truth is, Where to Retire named Panama City Beach as one of the top places for retirees to relocate to.  The magazine will be featuring Panama City Beach in their January/February issue. Retirees bring a wealth of economic support to areas, which is why many states and cities hope to attract retirees who which to relocate each year.

Many of PCB’s retiree population comes from the thousands of winter residents who enjoy the area and decide to relocate permanently to our beaches.  “I have the pleasure of seeing first-hand how much our seasonal winter residents enjoy reconnecting with friends and experiencing all the terrific things there are to do in Panama City Beach. It’s no surprise that many choose the REAL.FUN.BEACH. lifestyle year round,” says Dan Rowe, president and CEO of the Panama City Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Where to Retire is a magazine dedicated to helping people with retirement relocation decisions and the only one of it’s type in America.  Approximately 700,000 Americans relocate to new towns after retirement each year.  Where to Retire editor Mary Lu Abbott said Panama City Beach possesses qualities important to today’s retirees.  “Though the area has grown in the last decade, retirees still find a relaxing, affordable lifestyle in the Florida panhandle. Panama City Beach shows off its natural beauty of white-sand beaches and emerald waters and continuing education opportunities are available through several area organizations,” Abbott added.

 


Tax Free Weekend is This Weekend

This is a great weekend to shop for school supplies with the state-mandated tax free weekend.

School related items can be purchased tax free this weekend, August 12 – 14.

Some of the items that are eligible for purchase tax free this weekend include:

  • Clothes
  • Backpacks
  • School supplies
  • Shoes

Single items $75 or more are not eligible for tax free purchase.

A more complete list of items that are eligible for tax free purchase this weekend can be found here.

That’s it!  Get out and shop this weekend!

Social Media Workshop – Part Deux

The Panama City Beaches Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Social Media workshop and WE are presenting!  If you’ve been wanting to know about how to use Facebook as a page, how to get people to Like you on Facebook and how to schedule and connect your networks, this is the workshop for you!  We did the first of this series for the Chamber last month.  This is part of their Navigator, the Beach Chamber of Commerce’s small business initiative.

The workshop will be this Thursday, May 26, 2011 from 11 am to 1 pm at the FSU-PC Holley Academic Center.

Pre-registration is required and there is a cost of $30 per person.  If you want to come, call the Chamber at 850-235-1159.

SPOTTED: Google Maps Street View Car in PCB

If you’re not a bit nerdy, you probably won’t really care.  But, since this is something that doesn’t happen very often (like maybe once every 3 or 4 years), I figured it was absolutely noteworthy.

Google Maps has several Subaru Impreza cars wrapped in Google Maps garb and outfitted with a roof assembly topped with a “Ladybug” that includes an array of 15 cameras.  The “Ladybug” takes shots slightly down, level and  slightly up at 360 degrees.  The array can snap shots in real time at normal driving speeds.  The driver needs to do nothing else except drive normally while in operation.

The driver of this car is a local, hired as a contractor by Google through the local Workforce Center.  Once he was hired, he was flown to California, trained on how to use the car then drove it back here to map out the area.

When I talked to the driver, he had already completed Panama City proper and Panama City Beach, and was headed to Destin.

So, what does this mean for Panama City Beach?  This means we’re going to have more up to date imagery of Panama City Beach in Google Maps Street View.

More on Google Maps Street View.

Here are more pictures.

Guide to Local Gas Prices

As a community, we may not always agree on the same things.

However, there’s some thing in town that equally hit us all.  For example, Traffic, Real Estate, Tourism, even that smell the Paper Mill gives off.

Gas Prices-  another solid example of something we all deal with.

Granted, our daily drive is easier then commuters in other cities (ahem, Atlanta. Where a milk run to the local store can run you about 45 minutes, one way)

Yet, most of us still end up spending quite a bit of time behind the wheel and if you work in town but live on the beach, forget about it.  All that back and forth driving can really add up at the pump.

Digital Guide Below

Continue reading “Guide to Local Gas Prices”

Spring Break 2011 “The Mega Week”

According to Tripsmarter.com, over 2 million kids were turned loose for Spring Break during this past week, making these past 5 days the official juiced-up, mega-week of Spring Break.

In fact, it’s so big, it needs it’s own intro-music. *ques theme to Rocky*

(wakka wakka)

This last week brought hordes of college kids to town, who promptly set about shimmying and raising toasts with cold beers or those fruity, umbrella drinks.

Immediately following up all that shimmying, toasting and the mandatory high-fiving, they torpedoed onto the beach. Which is where they remained, fully focused on turning various shades of cocoa brown and repeating aforementioned actions.

I’ve been holding off on posting this article due to some irrational fear that as soon as we stated “all is well” here, it would cause some cosmic shift and break the spell of decent behavior. Maybe I’m just paranoid, or more likely I’ve seen one to many cheesy horror flicks. You know the kind, somewhere some young cheerleader states “it’s OK guys, there’s nothing bad going to happen” and whoosh, crazed leprechauns shoot out of the woods.

In an effort to get over my superstitions (and to keep the bosses happy) we’ll finally just go for it but if it starts raining frogs afterward, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

The reality is that during these last few weeks of Spring Breakers swarming in to town, the news has remained relatively positive. The revenue influx is encouraging and the positive turn-out for the first big run of the tourist season, is offering a ray of hope for business owners affected from last year’s oil-spill sucker punch.

Granted, there’s been a few nitwits who’ve managed to make the nightly news but thankfully, it was more from stupidity then anything else. In all, considering the increase in traffic and our beaches being held hostage by a ton of college kids, it’s been relatively smooth sailing. The Panama City Beach Police Department has reported an increase in citations, mostly issued for under-age drinking or public intoxication. Which should come as no surprise to anyone when you realize some of these folks were already planning on breaking the law before they left campus.

As this mega-week dies down, and we start to gear up for another round of visitors,  let’s take a moment to check out the live cams perched above Schooners.

Ahhh, look at that sand! The emerald water! Jealous yet?


Numbers Break Down from tripsmarter.com

 

 

March 14-18, 2011 (Mon-Fri) 

College / University Enrollment
Adams State College 2,308
Alabama A&M University 6,047
Albright College 1,650
Alcorn State University 3,668
Arizona State University 64,394
Army, West Point 4,000
Auburn University 24,137
Austin College 1,291
Bentley College 5,557
Birmingham-Southern College 1,500
Bucknell University 3,555
Butler University 8,367
California State University, Chico 14,500
Carthage College 2,930
Claflin University 1,800
Claremont Mckenna College 1,135
Cleveland State University 15,706
Colgate University 2,750
College of Wooster 1,827
Colorado State University 26,884
Concordia University, Austin 1,400
Concordia University, Wisconsin 5,600
Connecticut College 1,910
Delta State University 4,392
Des Moines Area Community College 27,000
Drake University 5,221
Earlham College 1,194
Eastern Illinois University 11,651
Edgewood College 2,500
Fairleigh Dickinson University 8,000
Florida College 600
Florida International University 38,614
Fordham University 16,009
George Mason University 30,332
George Washington University 24,531
Georgia Southern University 16,841
Harvard University 19,139
Harvey Mudd College 746
Humboldt State University 7,773
Indiana University, Purdue 29,854
Indiana University of Bloomington 38,990
Iowa State University 26,160
Jackson State University 8,351
Jacksonville State University 9,000
John Hopkins University 15,000
Keene State College 6,400
Lafayette College 2,403
Lakeland College 3,999
Lewis and Clark Community College 2,403
Liberty University 3,999
Lewis and Clark Community College 20,252
Liberty University 14,438
Lipscomb University 2,744
Longwood University 4,479
Madison Area Technical School 20,461
Manhattan College 3,000
Marquette University 11,548
Meharry Medical College 723
Montana State University 12,250
Mount Holyoke College 2,100
Naval Academy 4,400
New York University 40,870
Northern Illinois University 25,313
Northwest College 1,800
Ocean County College 9,351
Pitzer College 950
Pomona College 1,548
Princeton University 6,898
Purdue University 39,228
Quinnipiac University 7,400
Rider University 5,790
Rutgers University at New Jersey 34,392
Rutgers University at New Jersey, Camden 51,480
Rutgers University at New Jersey, Newark 10,246
Sam Houston State University 16,416
Samford University 4,400
Savannah State University 3,169
Scripps College 899
Southern Illinois University Carbondale 20,983
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville 13,449
Southern Methodist University 10,901
St. Louis University 11,823
Stephen F. Austin State University 10,822
Syracuse University 19,082
Texas A&M 46,540
Texas A&M, Corpus Christi 8,355
Texas State University 28,132
Texas Tech University 28,260
University of Alabama, Birmingham 16,246
University of Alabama, Huntsville 7,100
University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa 25,580
University of Central Oklahoma 15,753
University of Georgia 33,831
University of Hartford 6,225
University of Houston 35,344
University of Idaho 11,251
University of Iowa 30,409
University of Kentucky 27,209
University of Lethbridge 8,001
University of Massachusetts 60,000
University of Miami 15,449
University of Minnesota 50,402
University of Mississippi 17,323
University of Montevallo 3,000
University of Nevada 31,000
University of New Hampshire 13,547
University of New Haven 4,480
University of New Mexico 24,092
University of North Florida 15,619
University of North Texas 34,268
University of Northern Colorado 12,981
University of Northern Iowa 14,207
University of Notre Dame 11,603
University of Oklahoma 29,721
University of San Francisco 8,447
University of South Alabama 14,003
University of South Florida 34,036
University of Southern California 33,389
University of Tennessee 26,400
University of Texas, Austin 49,696
University of Texas, Dallas 14,480
University of Texas, Pan American 17,048
University of Texas, San Antonio 28,534
University of Texas, Tyler 6,150
University of Tulsa 4,165
University of West Florida 10,358
University of Wisconsin, La Crosse 10,052
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee 28,356
University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh 12,409
University of Wisconsin, Parkside 4,999
University of Wisconsin, Platteville 6,431
University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point 8,552
University of Wisconsin, Stout 8,416
University of Wyoming 13,301
Valdosta State University 23,750
Virginia Commonwealth University 11,280
Washington State University 31,907
Weber State University 18,300
Western Illinois University 13,600
Wilson College 868
TOTAL 2,112,478

Spring Breakers Hit PCB sans Seventeen Magazine

According to our friends over at tripsmarter.com, there are roughly two million kids turned loose from colleges nationwide, all in the name of Spring Break and shaking off the past Winter Quarter.

I’m willing to bet that about 500,000 of those kids on break right now can be found in the beer aisle at Wal-Mart on Front Beach Rd.

Article

Ok, well maybe I’ve inflated that number a bit (the Wal-Mart estimate, not the Tripsmarter.com one) but all it takes is one adventurous jaunt to Wal-Mart at 7:30am on a Saturday to understand where that estimate stemmed from.

Sure, we can look at hotel bookings, or in-bound flights, but personally, the real test of numbers comes from those of us who live here on a day-to-day basis. We’re the ones who have to add an additional 15 minutes to our morning commute due to the surge in traffic and more recently, the surge in accidents from crazed college drivers.

It’s a strange love-hate vibe our community harbors for Spring Breakers. In fact, it’s almost along the lines of a kid-brother, or sister. Sure, the younger sibling may drive you batty, but we’re the only ones who’ve earned the right to talk smack about them. After all, we loan them our town, our beaches, and our homes for a couple of months every year and we do love them, despite how much they annoy us.

Yet, when a national magazine like Seventeen Magazine decides to run a piece on the evils of our town and our young Collegiates, it’s only natural that we would take a few moments to address some of the things the magazine stated.

It’s shocking that a relatively credible magazine like Seventeen, would opt to run such a slanderous piece on Panama City. Especially considering the run of hard luck the Gulf had last year and the extensive campaigns we’ve launched to rectify the negative PR during the Oil Spill.

The article used some pretty bold words to describe our town, referring to Spring Break in Panama City Beach as “disgusting, degrading and dangerous, especially to Women.” Ironically, this is the same Magazine who runs articles offering  “Flirting Tips” or  “How to Attract Men” and a “Fertility Calender” to their demographic predominantly comprised of teenage girls and tweens.

Seventeen Magazine went on to state that Spring Break in Panama City Beach was a “grim reality” filled with trash, drunks and casual sex.  Descriptive words capable of summing up any Frat Party. Hell,  if you want to get really down to it, out-of-control antics like those, are present in every town across the nation.

A large concert in Atlanta suddenly erupts in gunfire, some party in New York lands the kids in the hospital for excessive drinking, and then of course, for some college-age kids, that might just be any random Friday night out in San Francisco.

My point is, that it’s the people that bring the excess, not the location. A more constructive article would have been one that offered tips on enjoying the school break while remaining safe and aware. As opposed to running a piece dismissing Spring Break in PCB.

There’s a level of responsibility that needs to be accepted by those visiting our town. If you want to enjoy Spring Break, don’t make dumb choices.  Don’t drink too much, drink some water, eat some food, use sunblock and don’t make out with weirdos or strangers.

Our Police Department works hard to maintain the safety of everyone who visits or lives in Panama City Beach but it’s up to those visiting to meet us in the middle.