Panhandle tourism tanks as more oil hits beaches

DESTIN, Fla. (AP) - Tourist businesses from Pensacola to Panama City are starting to feel the full financial crunch of the massive BP oil spill.

If not for temperatures in the high 80s, the Florida Panhandle seemed more like the January or February tourist offseason Saturday than a normal July weekend.

In Destin, where there is usually stop-and-go traffic this time of year, cars flowed easily.

The hundreds of cars from Georgia, Tennessee and elsewhere in the Southeast that typically fill parking lots were absent.

Jack Beck rents motor scooters, kayaks and bicycles at his beach-front business in Destin, and he wonders if his business will
survive the year.

He used to rent everything on some summer days.

But on Friday, he didn't rent a single item.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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