Panama City Beach Motel Gets Shut Down

By  | 

PANAMA CITY BEACH - A local beach motel has been shut down by Panama City Beach Tuesday for failing to follow the rules.

It began operating without being approved by inspectors.

City officials noticed the Front Beach Inn, formerly known as Knights Inn, was open and had begun operating around Memorial Day without the proper permits.

Tuesday, utilities were shut off and vacationers were sent packing.

Only a Building Permit had been obtained, Plumbing and Electrical Permits were not.

Panama City Beach City Manager Mario Gisbert says, "On June 9th, we gave them a notice that they could not operate the building because the building did not have life safety up and operational."

Officials say the building's fire alarm was disconnected, firewalls had punctures, and the sprinkler system lacked the pressure needed to put out a fire. Because of those dangers, the utilities were shut off and hotel forced to close its doors.

Many families were sent scrambling, trying to find other accommodations for their vacations and were angry because they felt they've been lied to.

Caitlin Morgan, who was vacationing with friends said, "We don't have a place to stay tonight and booking actually through here was a really horrible experience too. I'm not a huge fan of it really, i have a lot of things that were in the room that cost a lot of money and i don't want it to burn up, or myself."

John Kappen and his family, who are vacationing from Cincinnati, Ohio had to move rooms three times because of maintenance issues before leaving and finding accommodations across the street at Bikini Beach Motel along with a dozen others who were affected.

Kappen said, "As we were moving out, the police pulled in and put up a shut down notice and we'd been lied to and that's he unfortunate part. Just tell me the truth that 'Hey, we're having to vacate or whatever.' but no we were lied to, told there was a water leak and there's no water leak, you're being shut down for non-compliance, ordinance issues and now coming from you and the notice on there, they're being shut down by the Fire Marshal."

The shutdown occurred after the owners had three weeks to comply and after two notices were sent out.

Panama City Beach will not turn the water back on until all permits are filed, all construction is finished, and the Beach's Fire and Building Inspectors approve.