Snowbirds will soon be replaced by spring breakers across panhandle beaches but South Walton County traditionally sees more families than college students. They are marketing the area hard this year to try and make up lost revenue from last summer’s oil spill.
Sandestin represents a huge part of South Walton’s tourist accommodations, and they’ve seen a jump in hotel bookings for this year, so they’re hopeful that all their hard work will pay off.
“We’re trading in our snow shovel for our sand shovel!”
Two young visitors from up North enjoy the warm Florida weather, but they’re part of a small crowd on South Walton beaches.
In just two weeks, these beaches will offer little room as spring breaking families pack onto the white sand.
Sarah Brazwell of Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort says “…Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort is so excited for a great spring break this year.”
The numbers are in and marketing says they look good.
The beaches might not be packed just yet, but Sandestin expects 10 percent more people this year than last year and they’re doing it with special rates.
Brazwell explains “…Sandestin’s got rates starting at 99 dollars, which is the lowest rate you’ll get at Sandestin for the whole year.”
Hunter Stone and Jacqueline Grogan are from Connecticut and New York City and are visiting on their February break. They’re perfect examples of the target customer for this spring break season.
Brazwell shows that “…people have a little bit more time so they’re coming from farther off. Normally you’ll see people from Pensacola, Mobile, coming around to Sandestin. We’re starting to see more Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Tennessee. Those are a lot of our key markets for spring and summer and we’re really excited to have them back this year
So for resorts like Sandestin, things seem to be looking up as the temperature rises.
Something that may help Walton County fill its beaches is airports in the area. Both Northwest Florida Beaches International and the regional airport in Fort Walton Beach are preparing for an increase in passengers during the season.