Summer Tourism Outlook Bright After Weekend's Crowds

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PANAMA CITY BEACH - Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial kick off to the summer season. People from all over the country visited the beaches for the holiday weekend.

No matter who you ask, most everyone agrees Memorial day weekend in panama city beach was busy.

"It was a great weekend. the weather was beautiful the beaches were packed," said Dan Rowe, Bay County Tourist Development Executive Director.

"There were a lot of people it was packed, all the stores were packed, Pier Park was packed, the east end was packed, the restaurants were definitely packed," said Drew Whitman Panama City Beach Police Chief.

Memorial Day weekend is the traditional start of the summer tourism season. Whitman said, "This is the kick off to the summer season; this starts the rest of the year. this is a good tell of what the summer is going to bring us."

Local tourism officials couldn't be happier with the outcome. They're expecting this weekend's large turn-out to roll into the summer months; and so far, all indications point that direction.
Rowe said, "I talked to several properties, they were full." Whitman adds, "There were families everywhere having a good time, so hopefully that kicks off our summer season and stays like that all the way until Labor Day."

The Tourism Development Council will have the official bed tax collections next month.