PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - After years of battling a negative "Spring Break" reputation, Panama City Beach city officials are still working toward becoming a family-friendly vacation destination.
"People didn't want to come to a place with that reputation, so we have thrown that away," Panama City Beach Mayor Mike Thomas said.
City officials want to remind locals and visitors of the rules that remain during the spring season.
"You can't drink on the sandy beach, liquor sales will end at two o'clock [a.m.]... and some different things that we're doing as far as house parties and things like that. I think there were 16 rules that went into effect during that time and they seem to be working," Thomas said.
Among those are overnight scooter rental restrictions and parking limits.
Mayor Thomas says enforcing these laws will impact some businesses, however, he says it's for the better of the community.
"There have been some businesses that have lost some money that cater solely to that type business. Well, safety is always a priority with us. We'll probably have our police force doubled," Thomas said.
Some visitors say things have changed for the better since the laws passed.
"Lot of chaos, hooting and hollering, every night past your condo... it's quiet now," Panama City Beach visitor said.
"Last year, it was very nice to be down here. Several years ago, my wife got verbally accosted in the elevators, so I'm happy they changed it because if they didn't change it, I'd be going somewhere else," another visitor said.
The recently enacted Spring Break laws are regulated only through the month of March. The list of laws from the Panama City Beach police department are listed below:
1. All alcohol sales end at 2 a.m. throughout the month of March.
2. Metal shovels are not permitted on the beach and any holes dug in the sand should not be deeper than two feet.
3. Drinking alcoholic beverages on the sandy beach is prohibited during the month of March.
4. Possession and consumption of alcohol is prohibited in the commercial parking lots.
5. Parking in a closed business' parking lot is prohibited.
6. Overnight scooter rental is not permitted.
7. It is illegal to climb, jump from or throw things from balconies.
8. Parking is prohibited on unmarked or unpaved portions of the road after dark.
The police department is also encouraging safety tips such as traveling in groups and drinking responsibly.