Panama City Beach Spring Break Week 1

It’s that time of year again.  The weather’s warming, the sand is beckoning and college students and families alike are getting spring-fever!  Our beaches are filling up this week and starting in two weeks we’ll have a full load of tourists bathing in our sun, spending their money in our businesses and reminding us all which industry really is king in Northwest Florida.

Panama City Beach Spring Break is upon us!

Before I even begin, I’d like to give a huge shout-out and special thanks to our friends over at Tripsmarter who have graciously given us permission to use some of the information they provide every year to their spring break audience.  All of the information I am publishing in this post can also be found over on their site, in their Panama City Beach Spring Break section.

This week’s events – March 5-9

Spinaker Beach Club

  • Chasing Scarlett: March 2-7, 2012
  • Mega Beach Party (Beach Stage, MCs, DJs, Contests, 600’ Zip Line, Sponsored Activities, Games, and Free Stuff! 12pm-5pm): March 3-23, 2012
  • Shawn Rader: March 3-7, 2012
  • Bad Habits: March 4-6, 2012
  • Natalie Stovall: March 8-11, 2012
  • Tobacco Road Band: March 8-11, 2012

Club La Vela

  • J. Dash: March 5, 2012
  • Starkillers: March 6, 2012
  • Mr. Mayhem: March 5-11, 2012

Chateau Motel

  • DJ Elements & Beer Pong: March 5, 2012
  • Randy Waltz or Dame Vane: March 6, 2012
  • DJ Elements & Beer Pong: March 7, 2012
  • DJ Unk, Wet T-Shirt, & Beer Pong: March 8, 2012
  • Beer Pong Tournament & Local DJs: March 9, 2012

For a full listing of all the Spring Break activities all around Panama City Beach, visit Tripsmarter’s Spring Break section.

Full list of schools out for Spring Break this week
March 5-9, 2012 (Mon-Fri)
College / University Enrollment
Albion College 1,970
Algonquin College 16,000
Alverno College 2,654
Aurora University 6,000
Austin Peay State University 9,192
Baldwin-Wallace College 4,260
Ball State University 20,113
Barry University 9,324
Belmont University 4,765
Beloit College 1,300
Bennett College 572
Bishop’s University 1,817
Boston College 13,723
Bowling Green State University 22,882
Bridgewater State College 10,418
Bryn Mawr College 1,799
Campbell University 10,471
Carroll College 3,292
Central Michigan University 28,389
Clark University 2,883
College of Charleston 11,320
College of William & Mary 7,709
Columbus State University 7,593
Community College of Philadelphia 17,334
Covenant College 1,007
Creighton University 6,992
Dalton State College 4,532
Duke University 12,991
East Carolina University 25,990
East Tennessee State University 13,389
Eastern Kentucky University 15,839
Emerson College 3,800
Emory & Henry College 981
Ferris State University 13,000
Florida A&M 12,792
Florida Atlantic University 26,245
Florida State University 40,838
George Washington University 24,531
Georgetown University 14,148
Grand Valley State University 30,332
Hampton University 27,134
Harding University 6,810
Hastings College of the Law 6,503
Hendrix College 1,095
Indiana State University 1,233
James Madison University 5,117
Kennesaw State University 20,603
Lebanon Valley College 1,906
Lehigh University 6,836
Loyola College, Maryland 6,131
Loyola University of Chicago 15,545
Mary Baldwin College 2,242
Miami University (OH) 20,126
Michigan State University 46,045
Minnesota State University 13,841
Morehouse College 2,933
Normandale Community College 10,223
North Carolina A&T 11,103
North Carolina State University 31,130
Northeastern University 20,605
Northern VA Community College 60,000
Notre Dame de Namur University 1,600
Oakland University 18,000
Old Dominion University 21,625
Pellissippi State Technical Community College 7,001
Pennsylvania State University 83,721
Radford University 9,552
Saint Joseph’s University 7,542
Simmons College 4,700
South Dakota State University 10,566
Southern Arkansas University 3,109
Southern IL University at Edwardsville 13,449
St Cloud State University 17,173
Stetson University 2,273
Temple University 34,218
Tennessee State University 8,748
Tennessee Tech University 10,871
Thomas More College 1,416
Universite De Sherbrooke 35,000
Universite Laval 28,902
University of Central Florida 48,497
University of Detroit Mercy 5,600
University of Evansville 2,350
University of Florida 49,693
University of Memphis 20,000
University of NC at Chapel Hill 28,136
University of NC at Charlotte 11,840
University of North Alabama 7,323
University of Pennsylvania 7,728
University of Pittsburgh 28,823
University of San Francisco 8,447
University of South Dakota 27,390
University of Southern Indiana 11,582
University of Tampa 16,050
University of Toledo 5,600
University of Virginia 19,706
University of Windsor 12,291
University of Wyoming 13,301
Valencia Community College 51,551
Valparaiso University 3,874
Vanderbilt University 11,847
Villanova University 9,335
Virginia Tech 29,898
Virginia Western Community College 9,000
West Chester University of PA 12,950
Western Kentucky University 19,215
Western Michigan University 24,433
Wilmington College 11,500
Wingate University 2,041
Xavier University 6,500
Yale College 11,398
TOTAL 1,627,713

Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport Launches New Website

Jason Koertge has an awesome vacation rental business in Panama City Beach that focuses on remarkable properties right on the gulf.  They range from 1 to 4 bedrooms, they’re clean, and amazing.  He can be found lurking at

I thought the old website looked pretty good, but apparently it lacked some desired functionality.  The new website just launched Tuesday of this week and features “an updated design, social media integration and streamlined information for travelers, including a new real-time flight tracking feature.”

As you know, the new airport is located just north on Highway 79 and to the east about 5 miles on Highway 388.  It was relocated there a couple years back in what was a bold and revolutionary move as it was the first new airport to be built since 9/11/01.

We’re planning on visiting the new airport again (we’ve obviously been a ton of times) to shoot a video tour for our readers.

What are some of the things you’d like to see us show?

Press release for the website launch

PANAMA CITY, FL (February 14, 2012) – Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport has unveiled a new website that will make traveling even more convenient for flyers. The new website features an updated design, social media integration and streamlined information for travelers, including a new real-time flight tracking feature.

The Airport understands that a seamless online experience is more important than ever in an increasingly interactive world where most consumers are making their travel plans online.

“We wanted to provide our customers with a website that quickly answers their questions and allows them to effortlessly make travel decisions” said John Wheat, the Airport’s Executive Director.

Website visitors can obtain real time updates on arrivals and departures, follow flights on an interactive route map and track individual flights throughout the country.

Residents looking for a getaway will be able to choose from the Airport’s daily direct flights with service to Atlanta, GA (ATL), Baltimore, MD (BWI), Houston, TX (HOU), Nashville, TN (BNA), and Orlando, FL (MCO), as well as connecting service to worldwide destinations.

Website visitors looking to learn more about what Northwest Florida has to offer will be seamlessly connected to the Airport’s exceptional tourism partners who stand ready to help them plan the perfect getaway to Panama City, Panama City Beach, Florida’s Forgotten Coast or the 15 Beach Neighborhoods of South Walton.

“Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport offers the lowest average airfares in the region, allowing travelers to save an average of $150 on each trip they take,” said Andy McKenzie, Chairman of the Airport’s Board of Directors. “The new website is an important tool in helping us spread the word that our Airport is the most convenient and cost effective option.”

The Airport will also soon be launching a mobile site that is fully compatible with handheld devices. This site will provide a more user friendly experience when viewing from a mobile device, whether at the Airport or on the go.

For more information, visit

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”

Valentines Specials on Panama City Beach

Couples Can Enjoy Intimate Escapes to the Shore with Special Romance Packages

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (Dec. 29, 2008) – Panama City Beach makes it easy to whisk away your loved one this Valentine’s Day with special savings on accommodations and a variety of romance packages.

Spend a romantic weekend on the award-winning beaches that have made this Northwest Florida destination famous.  Valentine’s Day packages include everything needed for a perfect evening of romance, from champagne and keepsake glasses to flowers, chocolate-dipped strawberries and more.

Couples will find a variety of heartfelt and fun activities to enjoy.  Visit ZooWorld to see celebrity power couple Tonda, the orangutan, and her feline friend, T.K. short for “Tonda’s Kitty.”  Recently featured on Animal Planet as one of the world’s oddest animal couples, this devoted duo is sure to melt your heart.  Adding to the fun, Panama City Beach’s annual Mardi-Gras Parade takes place, Feb. 14.  Couples can celebrate the glamour and pageantry of this age-old tradition.

Panama City Beach doesn’t fall short when it comes to classic romance.  With the destination’s 27 miles of silky, white-sand beaches lapping clear emerald-green waters of the Gulf of Mexico, couples will have no trouble finding secluded stretches for tranquil strolls and amazing sunsets.  They also can spend their days at the spa, go kayaking, take nature hikes, enjoy sunset sails, and savor romantic dinners at a myriad of fine-dining venues.

From intimate beach cottages to luxurious high-rise condominiums, Panama City Beach offers a variety of accommodations with heartwarming deals like these below:

  • For Valentine’s Day, BY THE SEAS RESORTS introduces the Sea of Love package starting at $89 per couple per night.  Package provides gulf-front accommodations, free continental breakfast and a beaded wire basket filled with a bottle of champagne, souvenir champagne flutes, long-stemmed seashell rose and ocean mist-scented sea salts for the bath. Guests can choose from posh penthouse or Jacuzzi suites.
    • Located in the heart of Panama City Beach, BY THE SEA RESORTS offers a variety of room types, including standard rooms and one and two-bedroom suites with fully-equipped kitchens and private balconies overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.  Amenities include heated gulf-front pools, free continental breakfasts, free airport shuttle service, game room and more.  Call toll-free 888-627-0625 or visit
  • Shores of Panama presents a Valentine’s Weekend Package at just $500 per couple.  The package includes a two-night stay in a one-bedroom condo with breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico, couples Swedish massage at the property’s spa, $50 certificate for dinner at nearby Boatyard or Schooners restaurants, chocolate covered strawberries and a bottle of sparkling wine.  Unlimited access to the indoor pool, hot tub and fitness center is included.  All applicable taxes are included in the package price. Couples can choose to upgrade to a Hot Stone Massage for just $25 per person. Valid Feb. 12 – 16.
    • Accommodations range from studios to three-bedroom suites. The 23-story Shores of Panama boasts a spectacular grand lagoon pool surrounded by a 13,900 square-foot deck in addition to a heated indoor pool. Guests enjoy health club with fitness equipment, spa and sauna; high-speed Internet access; and more.  For more information and reservations call 1-877-808-4323 or visit
  • The Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort gives couples the opportunity to get away on Valentine’s Days or any day during the month of February. Starting at just $129 per night this offer includes gulf-front accommodations, chocolate-covered strawberries, a bottle of champagne, late checkout and breakfast for two on property at The View Restaurant. Additional nightly rates start at $89. Valid Feb. 1 – 28, 2009. The hotel offers a Tropical Lagoon Pool with cascading waterfall and hot tub, new SunSet martini lounge, three restaurants and a fitness center.  Call 1-800-633-0266 or visit for reservations and information.
  • La Quinta Inn & Suites presents a Sweetheart Deal at just $269 per couple. This offer includes extended king room for two nights, a dozen roses, bottle of wine or champagne, gourmet chocolate-dipped strawberries and complimentary movie. Taxes not included.
    • The La Quinta Inn & Suites is located in the heart of Panama City Beach’s shopping, dining, and recreation scene. Enjoy modern amenities such as free WiFi, a free Bright Side BreakfastTM, fitness center and heated outdoor swimming pool with Jacuzzi. For more information, call 1-800-531-5900 or visit
  • The Driftwood Lodge and Osprey on the Gulf are offering a Romance Package that includes a three-night stay and special champagne package with champagne, complimentary champagne glasses and chocolates for $225.00 based on double occupancy.  Taxes not included. Offer is valid throughout Feb. 2009.  Reference code “HART” when booking.
    • The Driftwood Lodge offers gulf-front accommodations, heated pool and sun deck, courtyard and picnic area. For more information call 1-800-442-6601 or visit
    • Osprey on the Gulf offers spacious units and suites, full kitchens and private balconies with Gulf views.  Amenities include heated pool, sundeck, toddler playground and picnic area, as well as children’s activities, cookouts and sandcastle competitions. For more information, call 1-800-338-2659 or visit
  • The Inn at St Thomas Square has special rates on accommodations for the Valentine’s Day Weekend starting at just $174 for two nights for an efficiency unit. Rates include all taxes and fees. Offer valid Feb. 13 and 14. Located along Grand Lagoon, The Inn at St. Thomas Square houses studio and efficiency rooms, as well as one-, two-, and three-bedroom accommodations with fully equipped kitchens and washer/dryer.  Visit or call 800-874-8600 for reservations and information.
  • Top of The Gulf beckons with special rates on accommodations for the Valentine’s Day Weekend starting at just $159 for two nights for an efficiency unit. Rates include all taxes and fees. Offer valid Feb. 13 and 14. Guests enjoy easy beach access and central location with restaurants, entertainment, shopping and golf minutes away.  Each condominium is a spacious, 440 square feet with fully equipped kitchen, dining area, bath and walk-in closet.  Visit or call 800-874-8600 for reservations and information.
  • Spend two nights at the Pinnacle Port, and receive a gift certificate for a romantic dinner for two. Valid for Valentine’s Weekend either Feb 13 – 15 or Feb. 14 – 16. Use code “VAL” when booking. The resort provides a secluded getaway with private beach on the Gulf of Mexico. Accommodations range from one-, two-, and three-bedroom town homes or mid-rise units.  Call 1-800-874-8823 or visit for more information and reservations.
  • For Valentine’s Day, Vacation Resorts International invites with 25 percent off the regular room rate at each of its Panama City Beach properties.  Discounted rates start at $94 per night for a one-bedroom townhouse at the Landmark Holiday Beach Resort and $56 per night for an oceanfront efficiency at the Panama City Resort & Club. Minimum three-night stay required.  Taxes not included. Offer valid Feb. 13 – 16.
    • Centrally located to area attractions, Panama City Resort & Club offers quick beach access, outdoor pool and spa. The Landmark Holiday Beach Resort provides guests with gulf-front accommodations with full kitchens and washer/dryers. Facilities include indoor heated pool, sauna, tennis courts and more. Visit for more information.
  • Country Inn & Suites has a special Valentine’s Day rate of $69.99 per night for Jacuzzi Rooms and King Suites. The cozy, country-style property provides rooms with complimentary high-speed Internet access, 32-inch LCD TV, micro-fridge and more.  Facilities include pool, fitness center, sauna and on-site laundry.  There is also a Read it & Return® lending library.  Call 850-249-4747 for more information.