PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - You can already feel the summer season nearing as visitors are making their way to the coast.
The traffic is getting heavy as visitors are coming down for Memorial Day Weekend. (WJHG/WECP)
"Since me and my wife have been married now, for almost 31 years, we try to come down here at least every two or three years," said Area Visitor, Jerry Die.
Die is a restaurant manager in Nashville, since COVID-19, he's been laid off.
"The stress of just having to stay at home and having to worry about this and that, when am I going back to work, and now things are starting to become a little bit more clear," said Die.
A feeling felt among many visitors coming to the area.
Tourist Development Council officials tell us this is the first busy weekend we're seeing in months.
"We've definitely seen a spike this weekend in reservations so we're hoping that our traditional holiday crowds that are usually here will be here this weekend and that's a trend that we're hoping will carry out through the summer," said Lacee Rudd, public relations manager for Visit Panama City Beach.
With the influx of visitors, some hotels are making up for lost revenue.
"We're 100% occupied all the way until Monday," said Rikki Coleman, a manager at Palmette Inn and Suites.
Coleman says the influx of customers is helping them make up for lost time.
"In March we were dead. I mean we had no rooms rented, once they opened the beaches, they started to come back. So we're just excited for us to be booked," said Coleman.
Visitors are just as excited to be back.
"We love to come down here. It's just to me it's just the ultimate stress reliever," said Die.
Coleman says to help with social distancing they're keeping pool and beach chairs at least six feet apart an they have extra hand cleaning stations around the property.
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