You Tell Us: Spring Break, To Be or Not To Be?

Let me preface this post by saying spring break isn’t just some event that can be shut off or closed down. It is a period of time in which students are on break from school, and they crave the leisure and activity of a tourist destination.  Regardless, college age kids on spring break will want to come to the beach.  We are a destination, and we’re attractive to those wanting to get away from their norm.

Now that I got that out of the way. . .

The activity on the beach the last few weeks has spurred a variety of appearances of our little beach town in national news outlets, all referencing spring break.  Local Mayoral candidates are using it to strengthen their position in the race, and locals all around seem to be furious about trashed beaches, too much traffic and a damaged perception of what they desire Panama City Beach to be.

Just two of the articles Panama City Beach has shown up on USA Today’s Travel section read, “Florida spring break mecca conflicted over its wild image“, and “The 10 trashiest spring break destinations“.  Of course, the later, when read, defines “trashiest” as a positive term, which for many, is equally as troubling.

Now, I’ve heard all the arguments from the businesses that seemingly do exceptionally well during this period, the businesses that heavily cater to this type of crowd.  And I’ve heard the arguments from others who claim Spring Break is 35% of the annual revenue here.  And while that may be the case for some, it’s certainly not the case for our rental properties.  If I did rent to the college kids (which I don’t, with the exception of a very few), it would still only account for about 1/6th of our total annual revenue and still wouldn’t be worth the headaches.

You’re the pundit – tell us your opinion on Spring Break

It seemed like a couple years ago we were trying to move away from the image we seem to be entrapped in again.

So I’d like to open this up to you.  You’ve been down here, you’ve read the articles, what do you think about the spring break activity we’ve had in Panama City Beach?

What do you think this activity will do to our image?

Do you think this will have a lasting impact on how our summer tourists look at our area?

Do you think we are making some summer tourist sacrifice to have a “good spring break?”

Bonus – Pictures from Spring Break Past

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