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Development continues in Panama City Beach through the pandemic

Published: Jul. 2, 2020 at 8:21 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -

Two grand openings on the same day are just the start of what’s to come to Panama City Beach.

“We try to be a destination place for people to come and we love that our people are happy,” Busy Bee President and CEO Elizabeth Waring said.

Off Nautilus Street, Busy Bee was certainly busy its first day in action. The gas station offers a wide variety of items.

Down back beach road, the 84-room Candlewood Suites hotel also officially opened.

“We’re easy to get to, right off 79, but you’re close enough to the beach where if you wanted to, you could still walk,” By the Sea Resorts Chief Operating Officer Robyn Evans said.

Evans said developers need to embrace PCB as a destination area.

“That is where the majority of revenue is generated from, the tourist seasons,” Evans said. “So we need to take advantage of that but we also need to be respectful of that, be intelligent with doing it, doing it the right way, especially now with COVID-19.”

She said opening during the pandemic was important because people are still traveling.

“That’s the big thing, they still want to get out, but they also want to be safe,” Evans said.

However, these two projects aren’t alone.

“Covid did slow some things down like Embassy Suites but they’re coming back on track,” Panama City Beach City Manager Tony O’Rourke said.

He also said the Hyatt and Margaritaville are also back on track.

“We’ll get through these difficult times, but the most important thing, progress continues; [it] may have slowed a little bit but it hasn’t stopped it,” O’Rourke said.

He also said the future looks bright for PCB.

“Hotels, restaurants, commercial retail, industrial, residential, apartments; you name it, it’s happening,” O’Rourke said.

Copyright 2020 WJHG. All rights reserved.

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