Pier Park North is almost ready to open

Old Navy is open (thanks Billy), and Aeropostale, Hollister, Borders, Bath and Body works, American Eagle, Chicos, NY&C, and more will be open first week in May. Tilly’s is also coming. For those of you that don’t know what Tilly’s is (I was in that catagory) it is a cool clothing store. I took a peek inside the windows this morning and saw Volcom, Roxy and other cool-guy apparel signs. Sweet!

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Solace Day Spa Opens in Pier Park – Grand Opening April 17

Press Release

Solace Day Spa & Salon Announces Grand Opening at Pier Park!

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (April 3, 2008) -Solace Day Spa & Salon-Aveda, now open for appointments in Pier Park, invites you to its Grand Opening Celebration on April 17, 2008, 5 – 9 p.m.

Guests are invited to join Solace Day Spa & Salon to celebrate the opening of their second location now in Panama City Beach. Enjoy an evening of beauty and wellness with complimentary mini-services, hors d’oeuvres, 20 percent off of Aveda products and up to $50 in free products with services booked that evening.  As the area’s newest full service salon and spa, you are invited to come and experience something more!

After the break, the rest of the press release.

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New Stores Announced in Pier Park

More stores were announced last week in Pier Park bringing the total stores announced to 96. Almost all of the Boardwalk area is open with everything to be open by early summer.

Some of the new stores announced include Pacific Sunwear, Hana Japan, Paradise Found, Guy Harvey’s Grill, Verizon, Cost Cutters, and Boardwalk Bag’s.

Click the “more” link for an entire list of announced stores.

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New Airport Designs released

as from the newsherald

As reported by the News Herald.

HNTB Architecture, the firm that has taken over the design of the new airport facilities presented the new design ideas to the Airport Authority Thursday.

HNTB meets with the Airport Authority Board monthly and have been challenged to get the overall cost of the $30 million terminal down and make it more environmentally friendly.

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2007 Panama City Beach Condo Market (cont.)

In an effort to answer some questions about the analysis he provided on the condo market in Panama City Beach, Sam Portmans from CondoSaleTrends.com offered the following:

In order to have an intelligent discussion about market value, market trends, and the data used to evaluate the market, we have to agree on the definition of market value.

There are two relevant types of value, Current Market Value and Speculative Value. Current market value is what lenders and the banking system have agreed to use. When the definition of current market value is boiled down to its essence, it is the highest price that will attract a buyer over a defined marketing period. Implicit in this definition, is that there is always a buyer at market value. Say you have given yourself six months to sell your unit. After six months it has not sold and your Realtor tells you that there are just no buyers out there. What he is really telling you is that there are no buyers out there willing to purchase at above the current market value. If your unit has not sold in six months, it is priced too high to sell. There are always buyers at market value. Buyers don’t care what you paid or what you think your unit is worth. Buyers pay market value 99 percent of the time.

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RedBrick Pizza – review, it was awesome!

My family and I had the opportunity to dine at RedBrick Pizza last week and had a great experience.  Eating there brought back childhood memories of eating pizza with my parents and brother at a local pizza joint in Dallas.  I remember the good times and the pizza always being awesome.

Inside RedBrick, the environment was cozy.  All the tables on the outside wall had their own little tv’s hooked up to Dish Network and a wall control that would change the channel.   This is awesome for families with little kids because you can put on cartoons and keep them from wanting to run all over the place.

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Pier Park – More Stores to Open this week

March 3rd press release from Simon Property Group.

Pier Park Welcomes More Dining and Shopping Choices!
– Popular New Eateries and Stores Set to Open This Week –

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (March 3, 2008)- Pier Park options continue to grow as many anticipated restaurants and shops plan to open this week in the 900,000-square-foot retail and entertainment lifestyle center. New tenants scheduled to open include Dillard’s, JCPenney, Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, Southern Waters Outfitters, Smoothie King, Trader Tom’s and ULTA Beauty.

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Pier Park – Total list of stores that will be open by 3/8/08

By March 8, 2008 38 stores will be open in Pier Park. The Grand Opening included 18 stores, with a few opening each week since. There will be another wave of openings including Margaritaville on March 8th.

Some of the retailers set to open are JCPenney, Dillard’s, Smoothie King, and Southern Waters Outfitters.

NOTE: It has been brought to my attention that some of the photos in this latest batch were made dark when uploaded to flickr.  The original images are not dark, if you would like a copy of the originals, please email me at jason at pcbdaily.com.  thanks.

Click the “more” link for a total list of all that will be open by March 8th.

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A Review of the 2008 TDC/CVB Spring Break Marketing Plan

As I am writing this, our first group of college spring breakers are on the road heading to liven up our beach. No one knows whether the TDC/CVB’s College Spring Break Marketing Plan will end up being a success, a failure, or somewhere in between. Hopefully President Dan Rowe has a plan for calculating a reliable estimate of how many college students visit our destination during the four-week period this year and what the actual economic impact is to Bay County. Lately, I have heard the estimate being mentioned that 250,000 college students came here for Spring Break last year and that we are expecting the same or better this year. However, it is my understanding that the TDC/CVB has no data to actually support this 250,000 figure. I am pleased that the new TDC/CVB board has been very diligent in questioning the attendance and economic impact of other special events; however, I do not believe that they have had the same diligence in questioning College Spring Break. But regardless of how successful the MTV plan ends up being, it is clear that the plan has some major problems.

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Panama City doing better than most of Florida

Using Quarter 3 numbers in 2006 and 2007, Panama City is doing better than most of the rest of the State of Florida. The average percent change in sales numbers for the whole state is -29% with the greatest change being in Ocala with a whopping -53% and the smallest change in Sarasota at -5%. Panama City came in third for smallest percentage change between Quarter 3 2006 and Quarter 3 2007 at-7% with second place (Naples) only having 77 sales in Q3 2007 and 83 sales in Q3 2006.

I’m not alone when I say our area saw the effect of the downturn before most other places and I think our area is seeing a turn-around sooner than most other places. I think we are on the backside of this market plunge and while things may get slightly worse between now and who-knows-when, I think we will see some improvement between now and this time next year.