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.

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

 

New Tourism Strategic Plan for Panama City Beach Released

Looking into the future creates feelings of excitement and anticipation.  Dreaming of what prosperity may come from careful planning and growth makes me all giddy inside.  At last week’s TDC meeting, the revised strategic plan was released that discusses the vision of 2020 in Panama City Beach and how we’ll get there.

This new plan is updated from the last plan that was released in 2008.  So, as you can imagine, we have a much better idea as to where we are and where we’re going.

The Vision of PCB in 2020
  • Maintain our place as the world’s most beautiful beaches.
  • Maintain high visitor occupancy while not exceeding the destination’s carrying capacity.
  • Continued diversification of our tourism product to create additional demand
    • New sports and event venues designed to drive increased destination appeal in the shoulder and off-seasons
    • Increased ecotourism and nature-based recreation access to the St. Andrew Bay and the Gulf of Mexico
    • Development of additional attractions, cultural & heritage resources, and other tourism amenities.
  • Enhance primary gateways that welcome visitors, create a sense of place, deliver the brand message and direct first-time visitors to the visitor center
  • Consistent directional signage throughout the destination.
  • Continue CRA improvements along Front Beach Road
  • Redevelopment of abandoned and dilapidated property in core visitor areas.
  • Consistent visitor occupancy in the 55% to 85% range year-round.
Key Initiatives to Achieve Vision
  1. Preserve and enhance the Beach, the most important natural resource of Panama City Beach.
  2. Enhance the visitor experience.
  3. Develop and market Panama City Beach as a year-round destination.
  4. Enhance and develop public venues to generate additional visitor demand.

Preserve and Enhance the Beach

  • Preserve and protect the water, sand, dunes and access paths.
  • Work with local, state, and federal agencies to secure permits necessary to conduct future beach renourishment activities.
  • Increase awareness of the beach and near-shore areas as wildlife habitat, for sea turtles, shorebirds, etc.
  • Enhance and improve trash removal and beach maintenance activities.
    • Investigate trash receptacles to replace the existing cans that provide the same function that are more visually pleasing
    • Develop an Adopt-A-Beach program to encourage partner and stakeholder support for beach maintenance and protection.
    • Discourage littering of all types, including glass bottles and cigarette butts on the beach and beach access points.
  • Public Information – Beach & Surf Conditions
    • Create materials to educate travelers about the beach and surf conditions, including surf conditions, leave no trace ordinance (signs, maps, website, guides, in-room video).
    • Enhanced Beach & Surf Patrols to increase public awareness of surf conditions, rip currents, Leave No Trace Ordinances, and other issues of importance to beach goers.
  • RESTORE Act/NRDA
    • Work with Bay County and local stakeholders on environmental enhancement and restoration projects that benefit Panama City Beach, St. Andrew Bay and the Gulf of Mexico

Enhance Visitor Experience

  • Deliver on the destination brand – “Real. Fun. Beach”. Most aspects of the PCB community should enhance a family vacation experience.
  • Collaborate with local governments and community leaders on policies that enhance the perception of Panama City Beach as a hospitable, safe, fun, beautiful vacation destination.
  • Enhance local transportation systems to ease visitors travel to and throughout the destination.
    • Gateways that deliver on the brand, welcome and direct travelers to information.
    • Directional signage – keep visitors moving efficiently through the community.
    • Road infrastructure and traffic enhancements – move traffic efficiently while protecting the safety of pedestrians and cyclists.
    • Landscaping & beautification – a well maintained coastal landscape will inspire pride and better visitor behavior.
  • Encourage the redevelop of abandoned and condemned real estate in primary visitor beach front locations. Improve curb appeal, add new activities/businesses, improved safety.
  • Improve and expand on family attractions and outdoor experiences that complement the brand.

Year-round Destination

  • Expanded and targeted research-based marketing program.
    • Establish marketing priorities by season: Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring.
    • Partner with airlines to drive increased fly-in visitation from target markets.
  • Programming of events in shoulder and off season.
    • Festivals and concert events.
  • Expanded team sports and group sales initiatives emphasizing events during slower occupancy periods.
  • Build on fun elements in brand by promoting celebrations of holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, reunions, etc. to attract families and groups.
  • Feature ecotourism opportunities, including sea kayaking and snorkeling/diving as unique reasons to visit Panama City Beach that go beyond the traditional beach experience.
    • Encourage the redevelopment of existing attractions and the addition of complementary attractions.

Enhance Public Venues

  • Sports Facilities
    • Expand amateur athletic fields for softball, baseball at Frank Brown Park or new facility.
    • Develop rectangular fields for soccer, lacrosse, field hockey and other field sports.
    • Develop multi-purpose facility to host sports tournaments, concert events, exhibitions, boat shows and social events.
  • Utilization of Improvements to Aaron Bessant Park.
    • Work with the City and other stakeholders on events – concerts, festivals, theatrical performances, and athletic tournaments – in Aaron Bessant Park that will drive incremental visitation to Panama City Beach.
  • Encourage development of ecotourism opportunities on West Bay, as well as the Gulf of Mexico, includes but not limited to:
    • Non-motorized boat ramps.
    • A series of artificial reef systems for snorkeling, diving and fishing.
  • Work with local, state and regional stakeholders to encourage the further diversification of Panama City Beach’s tourism economy and environmental restoration through RESTORE Act and NRDA investments.

The Awesome Conservation Park and Trail System You Knew Nothing About

While we’ve been bustling and hustling, the city municipality rolled out a huge conservation park and trail system that winds around a large array of retention ponds and natural Florida forestry   With 24 miles of trails to walk or bike, the trail system offers a very unique opportunity to get to know our local ecosystem.

Location of Conservation Park

The park is located on the west end of the Panama City Beach city boundaries, about a mile west of Highway 79.  If you travel west on Panama City Beach Parkway (Back Beach Road) and take a right just after you pass the La Quinta Inn, Griffin Blvd will dead-end right at the park.  The entrance to Griffin Blvd is adorned with a St. Joe Commerce Park sign.  Concurrently, Conservation Park is practically at the end of the Gayle’s Trails system that runs along old Power Line Road.

The Trail System

There are 5 trails in all, ranging in difficulty from “easiest” to “most difficult”, and they range in distance from less than 2 miles to 11 miles, respectively.

  • Green Trail: Less than 2 miles
  • Yellow Trail: 4 to 7 miles
  • Blue Trail: 5.2 to 6.5 miles
  • Orange Trail: 9 to 11 miles
  • Red Trail: 11 miles

In all, there are endless options for varying routes through the trail system, and one can easily spend weeks (nay months), seeing all there is to see.  But if you want to stick with the map, there are 12 trails in all mapped out.

The trails were refined from old logger paths that were already cut into the area years ago, with boardwalks being constructed in areas that weren’t dry to make sure everything stayed connected.

View the park brochure and trails explanation here.

The Parks Functional Reason for Being

Aside from being an awesome place to recreate, the park serves a functional purpose that is environmentally beneficial to both west bay and the conservation ecosystem.  Conservation Park totals in area approximately 3,000 acres, which quoting the City’s page on the park, is about twice the area the Bay County city of Parker encompasses.

Further quoting the page: 

In early 2011, after nearly a decade of planning, designing, permitting and constructing, the City completely stopped discharging reclaimed water from the Wastewater Treatment Facility into West Bay. This redirection of water to Conservation Park will protect the water quality of the Bay while helping to restore the altered hydrology of the natural lands at the Park. The City and its residents take pride in knowing they’re leading the way to a cleaner and healthier Bay.

A pump station, designed with the ability to pump up to 18,000,000 gallons of highly treated water per day, was constructed at the City’s Wastewater Treatment Facility on the north end of Gulf Boulevard. The pump station includes two pool areas (wetwells) to collect water not used for irrigation in the City. Once collected in the pools, pumps send the water through a 3 foot diameter pipe to Conservation Park.

There are a total of six pumps at the pump station–2 small pumps and 4 large pumps. The small pumps are designed to operate when flow at the Wastewater Treatment Facility are low such as late at night. The larger pumps will be used during high flow times such as in the morning, during summer months, and holiday weekends. Each pump includes a motor at the top that drives a vertical turbine pump which extends down into one of the pools.

The pump station site is also the location of the Gulf Boulevard Trail Head which is part of the City’s Gayle’s Trails System. This area includes a public parking lot and trail signage and information for Trail users accessing the Trail System from this location.

Transmission Main Pipe

A 3 ft (36 in) diameter Transmission Main pipe carries the reclaimed water from the City’s Reclaimed Water Pump Station five miles to Conservation Park. The installation of this pipe included bends and valves weighing more than 7000 pounds each. The Transmission Main route was completed with a paved trail on top of the pipe. This trail is part of the City’s Gayle’s Trails System with connections to the Highway 79 Trail, Frank Brown Park Trail, and Gulf Boulevard Trail Head. The base material beneath portions of the asphalt is crushed concrete recycled and reused from the former Fiesta Motel on Panama City Beach.

Public Building

A 4,400 square foot building was constructed at the southeast corner of the Park. This building functions as a shelter for Park users and provides public restroom facilities. The building also provides a useful space for City staff and equipment needed to keep the Park maintained for all residents and tourists. The 3 foot diameter Reclaimed Water Transmission Main divides into four different, smaller pipes inside the building. The manifold of the 3 foot diameter Reclaimed Water Transmission Main is located in a concrete pit inside the southwest corner of the building and divides the flow of reclaimed water into one of four areas in the Park. Each of the four pipes are color coded to coincide with a specific area in the Park and each area receives water on a rotation to rehydrate the wetland during different times of the year. The building includes three garage work areas and employee offices used to maintain and operate equipment necessary to properly run and maintain the Park. A chemical storage tank used as a final treatment method for the reclaimed water and a back-up power generator for the building are also located on the site.

Wetland Rehydration

There are 14 different discharge structures strategically placed around the Park to help distribute and rehydrate the wetlands on site. The hydrology of the site was altered during silviculture activities when the vegetation was changed and a large ditch dredged down the center of the Park site. Flow to the different discharge structures is rotated from the Control Building during different growing seasons during the year. Reuse water from the Control Building is conveyed through one of four pipe systems ranging in pipe size from 15 to 30 inches. The pipes follow along trails in the Park and terminate at one of the discharge structures.

What do you think?

Tell us in the comments what you think of the park.  Have you been there?  Share with us some of your experiences you’ve had there.

June Tourism up 19.9%

There’s been a lot of talk about bed tax lately, primarily because it is a good barometer of where the tourism market is.  May’s numbers were up just under 25%, and if you remember, at the beginning of the season, I predicted (conservatively) that we would see an average of around $2 million per month for the May to August reporting period.  We’ll discuss where we are with that in a few.

June 2012’s bed tax collection was $2,737,780.66, or an astounding 19.9% increase over June 2011.

A close look at the numbers.
  • June 2012 – $2,737,780.66 – single point: $373,055.95 – 19.88% up over previous year
  • June 2011 – $2,283,706.72 – single point: $407,766.53 – 21.2% up over previous year
  • June 2010 – $1,884,269.21 – single point: $389,286.91 – -3.2% down from previous year
  • June 2009 – $1,946,434.54 – single point: $376,853.84 – -4.5% down from previous year
  • June 2008 – $1,223,299.60 –  single point: $456,741.34 – 9.3% up over previous year
  • June 2007 – $1,119,167.86 – single point: $547,556.13

When considering the percentage of the bed tax, and doing a little reverse engineering, industry wide in Bay County, $54,755,613.20 was generated in room-night revenue.  That’s a lot of money spread around for one month.

The numbers from the previous months this 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
Predictions for July

While June was a little bit of a slow start for us at Panama City Beach Luxury Properties at 83% occupancy average across all our properties, July we had an average occupancy of 97% across the board.  Of course, looking at our average revenue per unit for July wouldn’t be fair, compared to July 2011 since we have a much higher concentration of higher-revenue properties this summer over last, but the number is fun anyways: $4290.17 per unit, which is 25% up over last year ($3424.91 average per unit).

Looking at the average percentage increases for the previous months (17.17%), and throwing in a little personal intuition, I think July will see a 23% increase in 2012 over 2011.

As far as our predicted average increase per month across the entire reporting season of May to August, right now we’re averaging $2,073,146.33, or .7% better than what I had predicted.  Not too shabby, if I don’t say so myself.  🙂

Record Breaking Tourism Month for May

Summer tourism is off to an explosive start with May’s bed tax revenue numbers literally smashing the mild record that was set last year. Total collections for May of 2012 were $1,409,032.20, whereas the total collections for May of 2011 were $1,127,340.30. This equals a 24.99% increase and provides the local tourism industry clear support for another record breaking summer.

Bed Tax, or officially known as the Bay County Tourist Development Tax, is a tax on revenue generated from tourism accommodations rentals.

Read here to learn more about the Bed Tax.

Let’s look at the numbers.

May of 2011 was a weird month. Many had high expectations, yet many others were very leery as we were still distancing ourselves from the devastating impact that the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill left us with in the tourism season of 2010. Tourism numbers were up last year (2011) over the year before (2010), but only slightly (4.8%).

For May of 2012 (this May), everyone’s hopes were high, but expectations weren’t, necessarily, since April had been such a lackluster month (seeing a paltry 4.45% gain 2012 over 2011).

But, putting all speculation aside, May turned out to be phenomenal and we have the numbers to prove it.

  • May of 2009: $998,779.40
  • May of 2010: $1,075,882.69 (7.7% gain)
  • May of 2011: $1,127,340.30 (4.8% gain)
  • May of 2012: $1,409,032.20 (24.99% gain)
The numbers from Panama City Beach Luxury Properties

Being in the tourism business, I have the great luxury and benefit to have a real picture of what we are seeing. Now, grant it, occupancy stems from a variety of factors that carefully work together, including type of rental, marketing acumen, exposure and environmental circumstances.

Since we’ve experienced dramatic growth over the last 18 months, looking at raw numbers year over year would be misleading. So obviously we’d need to do a unit by unit average. And I’m not sure if it’s considered social acceptable or even ostentatious to disclose how many total vacation homes we manage, so I’ll just leave that number out. But, if you were really curious, you could always just go to our vacation rental website and count them. 😉

Please note: these numbers are an average across the board, and include properties that may or may not perform equally during all tourism periods.

May of 2011

  • Total average: $843.30
  • Highest performing unit: $2928
  • Lowest performing unit: $182

May of 2012

  • Total average: $1779.87
  • Highest performing unit: $5,233.75
  • Lowest performing unit: $603.09

Looking at our average revenue per unit, we had an astounding 111.06% increase in our average revenue generated per unit.

Again, this representation is extremely skewed, especially looking at the variety of rental units we host this year compared to last year. We have a large number of high-revenue properties because our flat rate management fee ($397 per month) lends itself very good to those owners (saves tons of money).

June’s bed tax revenue numbers should be out the first week in August, so expect to see some really fun numbers then as well.

What is the Bay County Bed Tax

We talk a lot about Bed Tax around here, because largely it’s a fairly accurate snapshot of the vitality of our tourism industry.  Bed Tax, or officially known as the Bay County Tourist Development Tax, is a tax on revenue generated from tourism accommodations rentals.  In other words, if a property charges $1000 base rent rate, there is an additional 5% bed tax charged on top of that, or $50, which is collected and managed by the Bay County Clerk of the Court and Comptroller, Bill Kinsaul.

What the bed tax is used for.

To understand what the bed tax is used for, we need to break down what every percentage is apportioned to.

The first 3 points are specifically designated to be used “for advertising and promotion of Panama City Beach, Florida as a tourist destination, beach cleaning and maintenance and product improvement of the area.”  Then “1% of the monies collected are dedicated to the beach renourishment project and for the on-going maintenance of the renourishment. [And]1% of the monies collected are dedicated to supporting low cost air service and promoting the area nationally and internationally.”

Further clarification from Dan Rowe, CEO of the Panama City Beach Convention and Visitor’s Bureau: “The third cent goes to beach renourishment. The 5th is for cooperative marketing with low fare carriers flying into ECP. The CVB is funded from the other 3 cents, as is beach maintenance, landscaping, etc.”

The original base bed tax rate was 3%, but it was increased to 5% in February of 2009 in what was a dramatic series of public workshops and meetings.  The decision went through a litany of discussions in boards that ranged from local home owner’s associations (whether they would support it) to Tourist Development Council meetings, with the ultimate decision being on the shoulders of the Bay County Commission.

Read the 5th cent increase article here. 

Originally determined in the county commission meetings in which the bed tax increase was proposed, the 4th cent increase had no “sunset clause” – meaning it would never expire.  The 5th cent increase had a sunset clause that was to expire its collection in April of 2013, however that sunset clause was removed this morning in a regularly held County Commission meeting.

At this point, the bed tax rate will remain at 5% indefinitely.

Foreclosures & Summertime Dreaming on The Beach Show


1.  Deal #1 is a Wild Heron Foreclosed bungalow for only $279,900
SEVERAL OFFERS ON THE TABLE AT TIME OF FILMING.
2,496 square feet, 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths
Gated neighborhood of Wild Heron located on Lake Powell with amazing amenities
Fitness center, Kayaks, canoes, fishing, swimming pool, boat house, walking trails and 24 hour security
2. Deal #2 is a beautiful Gulf front community home for only $765,000
Summertime Dreaming is an amazing beach home with a guest house
Pool with beautiful architecture and landscape
Over 2,000 square feet and total of 4 bedrooms and 3.5 baths
Several walk overs to the beach with 3 pools and playground, tennis courts and 24 hour guarded gate
3. Deal 3 is move in ready GREAT investment condo for $224,900
EXCELLENT rental potential with a fully furnished Beachy Beach FUN
Beautiful pool with murals and great access to your beach front with excellent views
Near the water park making it a family fun spot

Panama City Beach July 4th Celebration Locations

July 4th is this Wednesday and in celebration of our country’s independence, there are a variety of fireworks displays to enjoy along the beaches of Panama City Beach.  Every year we’ve watched our local celebration grow as Pier Park has opened and more and more people flock to our beaches to commemorate the independence of our country.  And beginning last year, the Panama City Beach Convention and Visitor’s Bureau responded to the public’s request and sponsored fireworks displays at three different areas along our beaches: Russell Fields Pier (at Pier Park), M.B. Miller Pier (County Pier) and Grand Lagoon.

Fireworks Display Locations and Event Schedule

This year, the fireworks display will be at three different locations, simultaneously.

Along with the fireworks display, there is always a huge celebration at Pier Park.

Schedule

9:00 a.m. Veterans Celebration at the Veteran’s Memorial Park (adjacent to Aaron Bessant Park) Chairs will be provided for Vets and Families for the Morning Service.

7:30 p.m. POPS Performance in Aaron Bessant Park  — Bring your chairs, blankets and all the children.

9:00 p.m. Three Fireworks Shows all along the Gulf.  — City Pier, County Pier and Grand Lagoon.

History of Independence Day

Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, and political speeches and ceremonies, in addition to various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States. Independence Day is the national day of the United States.

More information in Independence Day.

Florida Beach Flag Warning System

Panama City Beach is known as having some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.  And if you’ve done some traveling, you know this to be true.  Emerald green waters, crystal white sand and normally calm waters draw people here from all over the country.

However, when dealing with mother nature, water conditions can change quickly and create rough conditions fast.  Undertow, rip currents and large waves all pose a threat to our safety and unfortunately many lives have been lost to compromising surf conditions.

The Uniform Flag Warning System was standardized in 2005 by the Florida Legislature to enact a standard system that was consistent in all of Florida’s beaches.  Knowing that tourists often go to a variety of beaches in Florida throughout the year, a system that was the same everywhere was necessary to avoid confusion.

The flags and their meanings.

Double Red Flag: Water Closed to Public

A double red flag indicates water and surf conditions that are unsafe for the public.  When double red flags fly, water entry access is closed and is enforces by local law enforcement.

These conditions often include rip currents, strong undertow and heavy and choppy surf that is life threatening.  However, the presence of a double red flag doesn’t specifically indicate any or all of the above conditions, it just stipulates that the waters are closed.

Single Red Flag: High Hazard

When a single red flag is flying, it is advised that the public does not enter the water but does so at their own risk.  Single red flag conditions include high surf and/or strong currents

Yellow Flag: Medium Hazard

Yellow flags flying indicates moderate surf and/or currents and that the water should be entered with caution.  Usually during yellow flag conditions it is considered safe to enter the waters, but like always, you’re encouraged to be safe.

Green Flag: Low Hazard

Green flags indicate calm conditions.  The water is usually flat during green flag conditions.  I liken green flag conditions to swimming in one great big, salty swimming pool.

Purple Flag: Dangerous Marine Life

Dangerous marine life can range from jelly fish to sharks and all varieties in between.  I’ve only seen that flag flown a couple times here but have read it’s flown regularly in south Florida.

Warnings everywhere.

The State of Florida and local tourism officials circulate beach flag warning signs and have them posted at public beach access points.  The sign graphic is publicly available for hospitality partners to use to warn their guests and the sign magnets can be found all over the place.

With Panama City Beach Luxury Properties, we had our own magnets designed and placed in our condos.