October breaks records for bed tax dollars on the beach

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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - While October is well out of the summer season, numbers from Panama City Beach tourism officials show it was still a great month for local tourism. Officials announced Monday that for October, bed tax dollars were up by about 25 percent compared to the same time last year.

It's an increase over last year's $1.4 million.

At Monday night's Christmas tree lighting ceremony, Mayor Mike Thomas said he was not surprised by the numbers and has even seen an uptick in his own business.

"It's great and shows that what we're doing is working, the changes we're making are helping," Thomas said. "The city was also up 13.1 percent in their one percent gross sales. This area is really doing well and I think we're doing things to make it work right."

Thomas said the city has been giving visitors plenty to see and do while they visit and says they have successfully branded Panama City Beach as a family friendly destination.