Panama City Beach Featured on CNN – “Oil is being easily cleaned up.”

CNN’s Tom Foreman was here talking to local tourism officials about the oil situation.  It’s a fair representation of what’s going on down here.  The bottom line is that we are having some tarballs coming ashore in several areas, but they are being cleaned up within hours of them being spotted and once they are gone, there’s no sign of them being there.

They talk to Panama City Beach Convention and Visitor’s Bureau CEO Dan Rowe and Edgewater Beach Resort’s Michelle Lacewell.

http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/.element/apps/cvp/3.0/swf/cnn_416x234_embed.swf?context=embed&videoId=us/2010/06/22/bua.foreman.fl.pc.tourism.cnn

PICTURES: Tarballs Make Landfall in Panama City Beach Over Weekend

As the oil plume moved more to the east late last week, we began to see some landfall of tarballs Friday and over the weekend.  Saturday morning, reports of tarballs and an oiled bird were made in Carillon Beach on the west end of Panama City Beach.  Today, there are a  slew of them scattered on the west end of Panama City Beach.  The only way I could describe it will make it sound like there is oil everywhere, which isn’t true.  It’s best for me to show you pictures and describe what I’m seeing.  Here we go:

Continue reading “PICTURES: Tarballs Make Landfall in Panama City Beach Over Weekend”

Daily LIVE Oil Spill Updates – VIDEO

We’re getting constant requests for more regular video updates on the oil spill.  We’ve been trying to meet that demand, and we’ve also started a daily live video streamcast from the beach each morning at 8:30 am cst.

Every morning, from a random spot on the beach, I’ve been shooting live video from the beach from my iPhone.  I’m streaming over the local cellular 3G connection, so the video quality leaves some to be desired, but it’s live video from the beach, non-the-less.

The purpose of the video is to show that there is no oil on our beaches.  If and when we see some landfall of oil on our beaches, the purpose will be to serve as a “real” representation of just how much oil is here.

With all the media attention that Pensacola has received with oil landfall, the common perception was quickly that thick oily sludge was washing ashore.  At that same time, pictures of oil covered wildlife was circulating and the reality of the situation in Pensacola was actually quite skewed.

Our goal is to show you the truth.  If we have oil covered beaches (which won’t happen), then we’ll show you that.  But, when and IF we see some landfall of oil, and it’s sparse tar balls that are quickly and easily cleaned up – which is very realistic – we’ll also be showing you that it’s safe to visit Panama City Beach.

If you want to catch our LIVE video streamcasts from the beach, visit our Ustream channel at 8:30 am cst each day Monday through Friday and we’ll give you an update.  Please keep in mind that we are trying our best to keep you as up to date on what’s happening here, but sometimes, due to scheduling conflicts, I can be up to 5 minutes late to the streamcast.  So, if you get there, and you don’t see the video, just hit refresh every 30 seconds or so until you see us.

Our Ustream.tv url is: Ustream.tv/channel/pcbdaily – please share this with your friends as we need to get the word out on the condition of our beaches.

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Note: For your convenience, I’ve also included a quick link in the left sidebar that links directly to the Ustream channel.  This is what the icon looks like.

Panama City Beach Oil Spill Update VIDEO

As of today, there still has not been any oil reported in Panama City Beach.  Skies have been clear, the beach is beautiful and the water is looking great.  I was at the beach this morning and much of the June grass was gone, at least in the area I was in.  Right now we are slightly in the 72 hour area of uncertainty meaning we could see some landfall in the next several days, but not definite.  Officials have stated that the material that MAY make it here this week or next is highly weathered, sparse and easy to clean up.  We’ve been told that it should be nothing more than an inconvenience when it gets here.  Here’s the video.  More later.

PCB Tourism Board Fights Back on Potential Oil Spill

With the looming threat of oil hitting our pristine beaches in one form or another, the Bay County Tourism Development Council (TDC) met this week to discuss how they can fight the negativity and display why Panama City Beach is still an ideal summer vacation spot for guests, new and old alike.  The solution was to come up with a whole summer full of fun with festivals, live concerts and events that will show our visitors that in Panama City Beach, it’s not just the beach anymore.

Continue reading “PCB Tourism Board Fights Back on Potential Oil Spill”

OIL SPILL UPDATE: No Oil in PCB, Still Coming Ashore to the West

No Oil in Panama City Beach.

There is no oil in Panama City Beach. Pensacola is receiving oil landfall right now, and we could see some environmental impact in the coming weeks.  So far, winds have kept the oil away from our beaches, although westerly winds over the last week began moving it closer our direction.  Over the last couple days, the winds had shifted to a more easterly direction moving the oil away from us again, but those winds are expected to change back towards us by weeks end.

Continue reading “OIL SPILL UPDATE: No Oil in PCB, Still Coming Ashore to the West”

AGENDA: CVB/TDC to Discuss Beach Protection Plan In The Event of Oil

As the oil situation has begun to hit Florida shores, worry throughout the panhandle has increased. Lucky for us, Bay County has one of the most coordinated Emergency Services department in the region. This meeting will be about determining the plan of action if oil reaches our shores.

AGENDA Continue reading “AGENDA: CVB/TDC to Discuss Beach Protection Plan In The Event of Oil”

Panama City Beach Oil Spill UPDATE: No Oil Here Yet

As of today, there is no oil in Panama City Beach.  There is no smell, there has not been any tar balls, oil sheen, tar mats, or oil foam reported on the beaches of the Florida Panhandle.  Right now, our beaches are just as beautiful as ever. That’s the good news.  The bad news is that oil has been reported 10 miles offshore of Pensacola.  In fact, quoting the noon report of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, “?Areas of tarballs, tar patties, and sheen have been confirmed approximately 10 miles from the Escambia County shoreline and 6 miles from Navarre Beach.”  Again, nothing on the beaches, yet.

Continue reading “Panama City Beach Oil Spill UPDATE: No Oil Here Yet”

Despite Oil Spill News, Panama City Beach Enjoys Big Memorial Weekend Crowds

If you’ve been watching the news, (which I am sure we all have) you are aware that the top kill efforts to stop the oil from from spilling into the Gulf failed, leaving whole regions fearful of what might happen economically if the spill can’t be contained. The sobering news, however, did not detour crowds from heading to Panama City Beach’s unaffected shores and soaking up sun while lounging on perfectly white, gorgeous beaches. Continue reading “Despite Oil Spill News, Panama City Beach Enjoys Big Memorial Weekend Crowds”

Hidden Dunes is Proactive during Gulf Oil Spill Crisis

To show all their customers and potential customers they care, Hidden Dunes condominiums on Thomas Drive in Panama City Beach has taken a very proactive stance in getting the word out that oil is not effecting their beautiful resort or the pristine beaches it lies on.  They actually hired us (the CYber SYtes team) to shoot a video of their property and put it on their web site.  The point was to emphasize that while the situation in the Gulf of Mexico is very serious, it has not effected us environmentally yet, and actually doesn’t look like it will.

Still, as of today, we have no tar balls or sheen hitting the beaches of Northwest Florida or Panama City Beach.  This is great news.

So, the video is great, but really what makes them special is what they are doing to help their customers feel special and assured their vacation investment is protected.

One of the cool efforts of the Panama City Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau is that they are in the process of adopting an area-wide plan where if the beaches are closed during a visitor’s stay, the participating resort will offer a $200 travel credit towards a return visit.  Hidden Dunes is proud to be supporting this and will indeed offer a $200 travel credit to anyone whose vacation is interrupted by government closed beaches.  If the Panama City Beach CVB program has enough buy-in, they’ll spend some money marketing it and making it known across our feeder markets.

Continue reading “Hidden Dunes is Proactive during Gulf Oil Spill Crisis”