Valentine’s Day is not a holiday, but the fact that it fell on a Monday gave a boost to some Panama City Beach businesses.
Package deals attracted visitors to the area for a three day weekend – one example of how businesses are capitalizing on any opportunity to attract a crowd. “It’s one of those weekends that’s just great for people to get away and come down to the beach,” said Dan Rowe, Executive Director of the Tourist Development Council.
Surveying a full dining room Monday night, the general manager of Carabba’s Italian Grill said he loves Cupid’s timing. “Friday night, Saturday night, Sunday… they’ve all been great nights,” said Jim Musicaro. “Valentine’s Day on a Monday is like an extra Friday night in a week… so it’s a beautiful thing.”
At the Shores of Panama Resort, a single couple enjoyed a Valentine’s
Day sunset. Most of the visitors who took advantage of the resort’s
weekend package deals have already headed home.
Lynn Briley, General Manager, is forecasting a successful high season based on his off-season occupancy rates of about 40%.
“Our trends even are better than they were last year prior to the oil spill,” said Briley. “We’re excited about what’s going to be going on at the beach this year.”
Back at the Visitors’ Center, the feeling is that efforts to promote the area will pay big dividends in 2011. “We believe that the planes will be full and there will be a lot of happy passengers coming to Panama City Beach and the beaches of Northwest Florida,” said Rowe.