Panama City Beach, Florida is putting a renewed focus on its family-friendly offerings.
This is welcome news for the countless snowbirds and families who make the trek down south each year. In 2016, Panama City Beach welcomed approximately three million visitors, only slightly down from the previous year. Snowbirds – who previously would return home each March due to quadrupling hotel rates – are now free to stay much longer, which will hopefully bring numbers back up.
Fall visitation has doubled in the past five years, thanks to increased marketing efforts and a jam-packed calendar of events. Now, the destination is investing US$1 million in marketing dollars towards the spring season to fill the gap left behind by College Spring Break.
This spring, families and leisure travellers can enjoy a wide array of events, including UNwineD, a celebration of wine, craft beer and gourmet food that runs from March 24-25, and Seabreeze Jazz Festival, named one of the top 10 Jazz Festivals in the USA by ‘JazzIZ Magazine’ and taking place from April 19-23. Also on the agenda are the Pepsi SpringJam Music Festival on April 28-29 and the PCB summer Concert Series at Aaron Bessant Park amphitheatre, which runs every Thursday night in the open air.
Several big name hotel brands have also set their sights on Panama City Beach, with a recent survey spotlighting more than a dozen projects in the works. A new 182-room Hampton Inn & Suites is set to open this spring within walking distance of Pier Park, while a 200-room Spring Hill Suites by Marriott will debut in spring 2018 with a lazy river and family-friendly amenities.
Continued growth is on the horizon and that should keep families and regular visitors coming back year after year.