The Oil Spill and What Caused this Summer's Economic Disaster

The BP Effect series is brought to you by attorneys Reich & Binstock and Seeger Weiss LLP, which are helping businesses in Panama City Beach recover losses sustained directly and indirectly from the Deep Water Horizon oil spill. They can help your business too,
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With The BP Effect article series, I keep seeing a resounding theme of comments, and I wanted to clear something up.

The cause of the “disaster” part of this whole incident was two fold and without both of them, there would have been no “disaster” here in Panama City Beach.  The word “disaster” in terms of how Panama City Beach was effected relates not to how much oil was on the beach (because there was practically no product EVER reported on our beaches), but to how our area was effected ECONOMICALLY.  The first was the actual BP oil spill.  Had that not happened, the second wouldn’t have been a factor.

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August Bed Tax Numbers CRUSHED, Worse than July

Like igniting gun powder on an open wound, August’s bed tax collection numbers were a piercing pain in an open wound.  We talked about last month that July’s bed tax collection numbers were down 14.58% total, including the normal first three cents combined with the additional 4th and 5th cent.  As if that wasn’t bad enough, August’s numbers were just released and rang in at 14.74% down over August of 2009.  Remember, this number is a comparison of year over year and fails to take into consideration the potential for increase as a result of normal growth and the explosion we were expecting this summer with the opening of the new airport and millions of extra marketing dollars being pumped into this area.

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How has the BP Oil Spill Affected Your Business

In what was supposed to be the best summer Panama City Beach has ever seen, tourism numbers were crushed in light of a dark, oily threat that loomed in the Gulf of Mexico, courtesy of British Petroleum.  BP operated the Deepwater Horizon oil platform that dynamically floated approximately 250 miles southeast of Houston, it blew up on April 20, 2010, causing what is being labeled as many as the greatest oil spill in the history of the United States.  From an ecological perspective, Louisiana was devastated.  Ecologically, Panama City Beach was fine, but economically and perceptually, we were devastated as well.

Over the next 12 weeks, we’re going to dig deep and talk about the myriad ways area businesses were affected, directly and indirectly, and discuss some of the ways they made it through, despite the troubling circumstances.  The goal is absolutely not to be a negative spin, but rather just a presentation of the facts and how real people were affected by something that really never even happened here.

Was your business affected?  We would like to talk to you and let you tell you story to our tens of thousands of readers, pictures and links to your website included. 😉

Please share your story by using the form below.

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Oil Boom Pass Project Removal Starts Wednesday

As reported from the Bay County Public Information Office:

Crews will begin removing the boom in the St. Andrew Pass on Wednesday morning, after state Department of Environmental Protection Agency officials determined the state would fund the effort.

“The chance of any surface oil making it here is almost zero,” Bay County Emergency Services Chief Mark Bowen said, highlighting that the purpose of the boom was always to fend off surface oil threatening the bay — it would have been ineffective against subsurface oil or tarballs. “Surface oil arriving here would be unthinkable at this point. The imposition of the pass project to shipping traffic and recreational boaters far outweighs the minimal risk of any surface oil.”

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Gulf World Marine Park De-Oiling Success

Gulf World Marine Park has had great success in de-oiling sea turtles and leading the way for them to return to their natural habitat over the last couple months.  The only de-oiling facility for sea turtles in Northwest Florida, they’ve seen hundreds of turtles come through their program since the Gulf oil spill crisis, but have seen it slow down considerably over the last couple weeks.  Right now, they have around 60 turtles that are preparing to be released back into the wild.  They just did a huge release yesterday of 23 turtles.

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Obama Family Vacations in Panama City Beach

This past weekend was probably one of the biggest weekends Panama City Beach has ever seen.  I speak not in magnitude of tourist dollars being spent, but in global fame enjoying the same amenities that hundreds of thousands enjoy every year.  Regardless of opinion of the visitors, Panama City Beach is definitely on the map now.  Panama City Beach was THE Presidential buzz last weekend.

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Oil Plume is 145 Miles Away from Panama City Beach

Pack your beach towels and sun screen and get down to the beach because we’ve been almost completely oil free (other than sun tan oil) for more than a month and there is no projected impact in sight.  We’ve been blessed with easterly winds which have kept the beaches of Panama City Beach of the plume projection models from NOAA.

Over the last several weeks, very sparse and scattered instances of tar balls have been reported and cleaned up along the beach.  But, these instances have been so few that most people that have come down here to vacation have had no idea that there was ever anything foreign wash ashore.  If you’ve been keeping an eye on our Facebook page, then you know that hundreds are posting their great experiences that they have had down here while on vacation.

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