Spring Break Preps at Panama City

Spring Break 2007 officially gets underway next week along the world’s most beautiful beaches. Students will pump millions of dollars to the Bay County economy.

A few snowbirds could be found soaking-up the sun on the sugar, white sands of Panama City Beach, but, the solitude is about to come to an end.

Beginning next weekend, the first wave of spring breakers will make their presence felt along the Bay County coastline.

Over the next six-weeks, a quarter-of-a-million college age folks are expected to spend their vacation on Panama City Beach.

It means more than $60 million dollars to the local economy.

President of Convention & Visitors Bureau Robert Warren says, "We are maintaining our market. Some $60 million dollars directly into our local economy; it is something that we seek out."

At a popular beach eatery, the winter months have been slow, but the thought of thousands of potential customers definitely wets the appetite of the owner.

"This is a slow time, from spring to the summer season. We appreciate our snowbirds, but we like the college students too," said Jackie Musch.

Richard Jackson has been Panama City Beach city manager for 27-years; he says Spring Break has had a dramatic effect on the economy. "It’s not what it was in the 1990's,” he says. “Today, there are so many possible destinations across the United States."

March will see the most Spring Break activity.

That’s when most colleges and universities in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama will take their Spring Break.

Due to the rapid expansion of high rise condominiums on Panama City Beach, tourism officials say it has cut down on the number of accommodations available to spring breakers.