Defining Spring Break

By: Alana Adams
By: Alana Adams

The two faces of spring break are squaring off in a battlefield on the beach. College breakers have always ruled the beach for about a month in spring, then making way for families trickling in the following weeks, each group careful not to overlap its visit with the other.

However, Cody Kahn, the chairman of the board, says this year less college students chose Panama City Beach as the spring break destination.

Kahn says it's worth spending the designated $300,000 from the TDC budget to bring the breakers back to the beach. Not everyone on the board agrees.

Russ Smith, the general manager of The Boardwalk Beach Resort, says it's just too much money.

"I'd like to see us continue to do spring break in a strong way and I think we can do it with a lot less money," Smith says.

The TDC actually spent more than $300,000 for spring break advertising last year because of cooperative agreements with local businesses.

Smith says they shouldn't allot the same amount of money as last year when it's obvious the dynamics are changing with condos bringing in more families.

"So, the debate is exactly how far we need to go down the road to continue trying to grow a market that only has a limited number of rooms it can accommodate them," says Smith.

Facing off for spring break are those who aren't ready to turn away the $36 million revenue for the month of March and the condo owners saying breakers aren't going to be welcome for too much longer.


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