Quiet Labor Day

By: Mike Tolbert
By: Mike Tolbert

Hurricane Katrina may have devastated three states, but her effects have been felt all over the country, most noticeably at the gas pump. And those effects seem to be why many decided to spend this holiday at home.

Last week Diana Cotton decided she’d try her luck to see if space was available at the St. Andrew's Campground for Labor Day.

"We called up Friday night and we're able to get a place I was real surprised because it was a holiday weekend,” says Cotton.

It was a holiday weekend noticeably absent of one thing: people.

"For a Labor Day weekend it’s real slow,” adds Carl Keen of St. Andrews State Park.

Green flags flew over the beaches Monday, but at the County Pier few people on the beach, even less in the water.

Many beachgoers talked about how quiet the streets are. Some businesses fared better than others.

"Day’s been a little slow but nights pretty good,” says James Gouge of Pirate’s Island Golf.

Rising gas prices and the lack of gas could take some of the blame for why people stayed home. And then there's Katrina, but the absence of out of town tourists has given the locals a chance to enjoy what Panama City has to offer.

The campgrounds at St. Andrews did see a good amount of camper's this weekend but they were for the most part locals.

Panama City Beach saw an influx of people during last year's Labor Day because of Florida evacuees escaping Hurricane Frances.


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