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Panama City Beach elections, Spring Break set to collide - Reservations For Springbreak Down WAYYYY DOWN

Rickey Stokes

Viewed: 6501

Posted by: RStokes
Date: Feb 27 2016 7:24 PM

PANAMA CITY BEACH — The contentious dispute over Spring Break inspired several candidates to run for Panama City Beach mayor, and the winners could be determined by how well or poorly the celebration turns out this year.

Reservations at area hotels and condos are reportedly down anywhere from 50 to 80 percent, and business owners are cutting back on hiring and lowering room rates. Some business owners say the Spring Break laws the Beach Council and County Commission have passed — everything from restricting parking in business parking lots to banning drinking on the Beach in March — are deterring spring breakers from coming here this year.

And by the time the Panama City Beach municipal election is held April 19, officials should have an idea of how the laws impacted the economy and crime. So far, however, officials admit they don’t know how it is going to turn out.

The candidates in the Beach mayor’s race have expressed contrasting views about the laws that were passed to “tone down” the celebration.

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