Tourism boom leads to new hotels in Panama City Beach

By  | 

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Last week, St. Joe Company announced plans to build a new hotel in Panama City Beach.

"The TownePlace Suites that St. Joe is getting ready to develop on Back Beach Road at Pier Park is going to be a great addition," Visit Panama City Beach President Dan Rowe said.

The company, along with many others, believes the market is ripe for more rooms.

"We have the Holiday Inn Express and the Hampton Inn that opened earlier this summer, they did a great job throughout the summer. We have the SpringHill Suites that's currently under construction. The Calypso 3 Tower is coming out of the ground, because they know that the demand is there and more and more visitors are coming to Panama City Beach throughout the year," Rowe said.

The addition of hotels are a change of pace.

"For a while, it was easier for people to build condos because they could sell those units to individual folks. Now, we have some of the larger companies coming in and are building hotels and it's great for us to have a mix," Rowe said.

One local real estate agent says more hotels are a good thing for his business.

"The new hotels bring in an additional clients that probably would have never come to the beach because they can use their frequent flyer travel points. They come here, they figure out it's a great place to be, now they want to buy a condo so we encourage all the new hotels and the growth and personally, I hope it continues," Realtor for Keller Williams, Randy Poe said.

With about 6,000 hotel rooms and more than 10,000 condos, Panama City Beach is still primarily a condo market with a visitor demand that's expected to grow.

City officials say the trouble now isn't filling hotel rooms and condos, but actually having enough rooms available for visitors.