Panama City Beach is gearing up for thousands of spring breakers to head down to the water. Hotels are already seeing higher bookings than this time last year.
As the weather begins to heat up, college students from around the country begin planning trips to Panama City Beach. This peak tourist time is something shop owners anticipate all year round.
PCB Store Owner Dana Strickland says, "Spring Break is a breath of fresh air after having no customers for winter. We have to shut down because we don't make enough to keep the electric bill, so we are excited."
Hotel reservations are usually an indicator of what businesses can expect during spring break. This year, hotel representatives say they expect business to be booming.
Philip Colvin, PCB Holiday Inn Marketing director says, "This year, we're looking forward to a great spring break. Bookings are up and sponsors are here and we're excited."
The influx in visitors to the beach is causing law enforcement officials to step up patrol. The extra effort is to keep drivers, pedestrians and families visiting during spring break safe during their stay.
Richard McSwiney, with the Florida Highway Patrol says, "We're looking for aggressive drivers and as long as you're watching out for others, that's what we're looking for."
State troopers advise pedestrians at the beach to stay far off the road, to avoid aggressive drivers trying to pass on the shoulder of the roadway.
The Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort is already fully booked for most of the month of March. They say they expect the large number of visitors to the beach to continue throughout the summer.