Local businesses are impacted economically as day three of Thunder Beach revs up

Thunder Beach bringing revenue to businesses in Panama City Beach
Thunder Beach bringing revenue to businesses in Panama City Beach(WJHG/WECP)
Published: Oct. 23, 2020 at 8:42 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG) - Friday has been a mostly sunny day in Panama City Beach, but you can hear the thunder roaring. However, it has nothing to do with mother nature and everything to do with the sound of engines. Day three of Thunder Beach is underway and the return of the rally has already impacted local businesses economically.

After being cancelled in the spring and postponed in September, Thunder Beach has been on a wild ride this year. But now the thunder is revving back up and bringing in revenue again for Panama City Beach. With Friday and Saturday being the busiest days of bike week, Thunder Beach owner Joe Biggs hopes it makes a big economic impact on the community.

“This is a tourist community and there is no Florida tax, and that 1% business tax is very important to this community,” said Biggs. “We do it twice a year, but we bring a lot of revenue in town and it’s important to us.”

Tim Jacobi, the co-owner of local restaurant Angry Tuna, says this event being outdoors is exactly what our community needed to bring in extra revenue and tourism in a safe way. Jacobi says it’s giving businesses a second chance at money since most businesses were closed in the spring due to COVID-19.

“Thunder Beach is just another layer of economic growth that we’ve seen,” said Jacobi. “You know it brings more people, it increases our revenue, which increases the taxation for the city, so it’s a win-win for I think most everybody here.”

Thunder Beach being cancelled in the spring left business owners hoping for a fall return.

“We always look forward to this bike week as kind of an end to the season. So, it’s great to have this back and have visitors come in and fill the seats and have a good weekend as a whole,” Bayou on the Beach owner Maria Buxton said.

Buxton says spring bike week is one of their busiest weekends in the spring and to not have that, had a big impact on their restaurant. Buxton adds that not only has the return of the rally been good for her business, but for the community as a whole.

“Well we know they come in and they spend throughout the Beach. They go to the stores, they go to the shops, they come to the restaurants, the bars. So, I think it’s good for all business really. They make an impact and we’re happy to have them,” Buxton said.

Thunder Beach has bikers rolling in from all over the country and Jacobi and Buxton say they are just happy to see the rally helping the community.

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