Many, but not all, Panama City businesses reopening eight months after Hurricane Michael

Many Panama City businesses are reopening after Hurricane Michael. (WJHG/WECP)
Many Panama City businesses are reopening after Hurricane Michael. (WJHG/WECP)(WJHG)
Published: Jun. 18, 2019 at 8:29 PM CDT
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After Hurricane Michael, many mom and pop shops or restaurants like Cahall's Deli and Smitty's Barbecue had to close their doors to fix damage.

But now as President and CEO of Destination Panama City Jennifer Vigil said, "Cahall's had a lot of damage but they're back open and operating and Smitty's is already doing take out orders."

It's not just the smaller shops that are reopening.

Vigil said, "Now that we're a little bit further progressed, some of our big box stores have opened like Kohl's and HomeGoods. A lot of those that are a little bit larger that had to get their employee base back."

Hotels are also coming back online as officials with Destination Panama City say the Holiday Inn in Panama City opened with 80 rooms and the Hilton Garden Inn opened with 111 rooms.

But not everything weathered the storm. Destination Panama City officials say Jani's Ceramics plans to close its doors for good and Luigi B.G. announced in October it would be closing its doors as well.

However, other doors for new developments are opening.

Vigil said, "We actually have some new businesses coming in. Downtown is getting its first-ever brewery, so we have History Class Brewery that's opening very soon. We also have a few other shops that are remodeling and people coming in to look at what the opportunities are."

Also, Bay City Point is expanding. Panama City officials say they've approved plans for Five Below and McDonald's.

They say the city is working with the shoe store Skechers on plans, and we're also told by a city official Burlington Coat Factory and Ulta Beauty plan to build and open stores as well.

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