Panama City, FL –
PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) – It’s a busy and crowded weekend on the beach as two festivals kick off tonight. Both events attract thousands of visitors from near and far. The influx is even causing hotel prices to skyrocket. Unwined and Gulf Coast Jam bring together 25,000 people.
“We welcome them together on the same weekend. So, we expect things to be incredibly busy. Great for the economy, ”said Lacee Rudd, public relations manager for Visit Panama City Beach.
Both events will last for several days resulting in a huge demand for accommodation.
“We have a lot of people trying to come and get rooms but there is nothing we can do,” said Karel Davis, supervisor of the Seahaven Beach Hotel.
Seahaven Beach Hotel says all 80 of their hotel rooms are booked. Down the road, Bikini Beach Resort reports the same.
“We booked for this weekend earlier this week. Yes, that’s how it is, Memorial Day weekend was also booked a week in advance, ”said Richard Richards, general manager of Bikini Beach.
Despite the lack of rooms, this does not stop tourists.
“Oh yeah… They keep coming in ‘do you guys have something? We’ve looked down the street, we’re trying to help them out when we can, but that’s crazy, ”said Richards.
Some visitors report seeing astronomical hotel prices. A room on hotels.com costs $ 939 for a single night. Another room costs $ 800. Georgia’s Tyler Maczko is addressing this issue firsthand.
“It looked like the prices seemed really low, but once they were added to the cleaning fee and security deposits, they went from $ 600 to $ 900,” said Tyler Maczko, a tourist.
A price she ended up paying.
“So here I think we paid 900 from last night to Sunday,” Maczko said.
As we return to a new normal, tourism trends are expected to continue to break records.
“We’ve been talking to partners and this weekend is full and we expect that to extend into the rest of the summer and even into the early months of fall,” Rudd said.
For coverage on both festivals this weekend, check out mypanhandle.com.
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