Enjoy the Party, Pardon the Mess

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The Tourist Development Council is continuing to sell the beach as the spring break capital of the world. But please pardon the mess. Last spring the condo construction was just starting.

County Commissioner is on the TDC board and is concerned breakers won't understand the mess. "I hope they know that we're under construction and that we're getting better. But I think as we're getting better there's going to be less room for that clientele."

This year, board members want to continue expanding spring break beyond just party-happy college students. But they are still spending $400,000, the same amount as the last two years, to market specifically to college and high school breakers.

Mayor Lee Sullivan, the newly elected chairman of the board, says the money is the same but spring break definitely isn't the same. "So, spring break is broad. We tend to segment it and we shouldn't do that. The beach changes and as we evolve into that, our responsibility is to determine how we market that to all of those people."

Some of those students could travel quite a ways to our beaches to spend money, maybe thanks to our Canadian snowbirds. According to the Canadian newspaper, The Toronto Star, Panama City Beach ranks number one for the top ten spring break destinations for Canadian college students.

Marg Weber is a snowbird who flocked south from Canada. She says her grandchildren are still too young, but her children are not. "Oh, it's a great place. The beach is beautiful. The weather is better than Canada, better than the snow."

Ive Corbett, another Canadian snowbird agrees. He says he's a little cooler in the eyes of his grandchildren since he lives here part of the year. "Oh, they said, ‘Grandpa, can we come on down?’ And we said, ‘We'll think about that.’"

Whether it's on its way out or just changing with the time, spring break begins in just four weeks.