Snowbirds Throw a Going Away Party

PANAMA CITY BEACH-- They are a lot like spring breakers, they come from all across North America, and they know how to party.

Tom Tootle is a recent retiree form Ohio who won Wednesday night's karaoke contest.

"I'm going to be here every year from now on," said Tootle with a laugh.

"Our winter residents are very important to the local economy. They come at a time when there is not a lot of other tourism demand, and they just have fun. You know there are a lot of other beaches around the country that are a bit warmer, but there are none that are this much fun," said Dan Rowe of the TDC.

With every 83 visitors creating one job in the state of Florida, keeping the snow birds returning during the winter months is a top priority. It help businesses stay alive as they wait for peak season.

"College kids are going to start arriving all through March. You know the families will come in for their spring break in early April. So the season really just kicks off in a big way," said Rowe.