PANAMA CITY BEACH FL — Officials: Presidential visit ‘priceless' for area's image, the first family’s visit to Panama City Beach this weekend, 8/14/2010, is a “priceless” event to a community still struggling to overcome the national perception that oil marred the entire Florida Panhandle, local officials said Friday.
UPDATE...After arriving at Tyndall Air Force Base just before 11 a.m. CDT, President Barack Obama, along with wife Michelle and daughter Sasha, boarded Marine One for a short flight to Navy Support Activity Panama City. The family arrived at the Naval station minutes later and headed to the adjacent Coast Guard Station, where the president and first lady joined Gov. Charlie Crist, Panama City Mayor Scott Clemons, Panama City Beach Mayor Gayle Oberst, Legacy By the Sea Resort manager Lee Ann Leonard, charter boat Capt. Gary Jarvis, and restaurant owner Carolyn Holman to discuss economic recovery in the Gulf region in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. “The beaches are beautiful, the restaurants are great and the Gulf is open for business,” he said.
President Obama and the First Family are scheduled to arrive in Panama City Beach today for a 27-hour mini-vaction...but it won't be all play. The President will meet with local community leaders for a roundtable discussion on the oil spill relief effort.
As for their personal time, stories are flying all over the place about what the Obamas will be doing and seeing. From the best information and sources we have available, the Obamas will be staying at the Bay-Point Marriott, or right next door at the Reflections at Bay-Point.
There have been talks of the Obamas making a trip here, to 'Wonderworks'. Michelle Obama referenced the unusual landmark the last time she visited Panama City Beach last month. "Just driving around, i saw golf courses, and an odd building that was upside down. I don't know what's going on there but if I'm a kid I want to go inside that house. Water parks, beautiful beaches... So much to do here!" Michelle Obama told a crowd in Panama City Beach back in July. Mrs. Obama also commented that her kids would love Shipwreck Island Water Park during her July visit.
Although Bay County beaches eventually were hit with scattered tar balls, tourism officials struggled for weeks following the Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster to ensure the vacationing public that local beaches remained open for business during the height of the summer tourism season.
“Despite the fact that we only saw a light effect of oil on the beach, we had major financial impacts,” said Mike Bennett, chairman of the Bay County Tourist Development Council. “The economic impact was huge.”
Now that the busted oil well has been capped and a fishing ban in federal waters lifted, “it’s a new day,” Bennett said. “We were blessed. We want to get the perception out there that we’re back, and we’re ready for business. President Obama’s visit is a priceless value.” more from this source.............
Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport Opens In Panama City Beach Fl May 2010 Serving Baltimore, Houston, Nashville, Orlando, Atlanta and Memphis. The first new international airport in the United States in more than decade opened in May near Panama City, Fla., a community of 37,000 people on the state’s panhandle. That is no small feat given the environmental, regulatory and financial hurdles involved in building runways and terminals, as well as community opposition to planes flying overhead.
But the airport, Northwest Florida Beaches International, is also noteworthy because it is perhaps more of a real estate project than an effort to address a pressing transportation problem. Backed by a major Florida landowner, it is part of a plan to create “a new national and international destination,” as one investor presentation proclaims, in a relatively sleepy region of beaches, barrier islands and wetlands.
Spring Break in Panama City Beach will go through the roof with an additional influx of students from Baltimore, Houston, Nashville, Orlando, Atlanta and Memphis who in the past had to endure 8 hour to 12 hour drives (one way) just to get there.
Bill Warner Private Investigator, SEX, CRIME, CHEATERS & TERRORISM.