Panama City Beach- It's no secret that many spring breakers come to Panama City Beach to party. But now some local businesses have joined together to entice spring breakers to stay sober by offering all kinds of activities and discounts. It's the first effort of its kind in the area and organizers are hoping for success.
Teddy Meeks is touching up some rides at Pier Park before what he hopes will be a busy spring break season. "We are excited about spring break, it's good to see the beach busy again."
This year Miracle Strip is one of 18 businesses participating in the first "Sober Spring Break" effort, offering discounts to breakers who vow to stay sober. "They can come out for $12 and ride from 7 to 9 and ride as much as they want, have a good time, no drinking, and not be worried about getting in trouble," said Meeks.
That's one activity offered under the program, which is the brain child of the Bridging the Gap Recovery Center on the west end. "Usually spring break brings about some unusual consequences such as balcony falls, getting in trouble with the law, just various things that drinking can cause and we wanted to give some options to these students coming down that can see that they can have fun without alcohol," said Chris Hammonds at Bridging the Gap.
In addition to discounts at local businesses and restaurants, Shalimar Beach Resort is hosting activities for sober breakers on the weekends. "We do have an athletic center so we have basketball, volleyball, mud football...that should be entertaining. A lot of good activity," said Amanda Kramer of Shalimar Retreat. Organizers realize their efforts to keep students sober is an uphill battle, but one they say is worth it.
All you have to do to qualify for the discounts is stop in and register at the Bridge the Gap location on Highway 79. Click on the link below for a complete list of participating businesses.