Local businesses reflect on summer season numbers

Published: Sep. 5, 2022 at 8:27 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Local businesses viewed this Labor Day weekend as a chance to finish the summer season on a high note.

“I would say historically, it’s been a fantastic year,” said Sam Holden, marketing director and broker associate for Sunspot Realty. “Of course compared to 2021, we were a little bit down in occupancy, but nothing to be concerned about.”

Holden said numerous factors contributed to 2021 being an unusually strong year.

“Not only did we get a lot of people who already know about Panama City Beach just loving it and wanting to come again and again, but a lot of people who had never been here before discovered our area,” Holden said.

Sunspot Realty isn’t the only business in town encountering similar results.

Gulf World Marine Park also experienced a strong 2022 summer season. The numbers weren’t as high as they were in 2021, but some attractions definitely caught the attention of some tourists.

“We added our Gator Bayou this year,” Gulf World Park Director Pam George said.

George said 2021 was beyond what they initially anticipated.

“We had a wonderful summer season,” George said. “Of course, it wasn’t as good as 2021. That was a phenomenal year and unexpected but this year was very similar to years in the past.”

She also said there were days where more than 3,000 people would come to the park during the summer season in 2021.

Things simmered down a bit this year, though.

It’s all about looking ahead at this point.