Panama City Beach’s new, world-class $37 million-dollar Sports Complex was fortunate to reopen in May after closing for two months due to COVID-19 and has played a vital role in the destination’s recovery story. In fact, Panama City Beach shattered previous tourism records this summer, with a 10.3% increase in collections in August and 25.7% increase in September, making its YTD loss only 7%.
Visit Panama City Beach President and CEO Dan Rowe believes that youth recreational sports, in addition to their miles of beautiful spaced out beaches, has helped Bay County tremendously in comparison to other destinations. Please see details below and let us know if you would be interested in speaking with Dan Rowe regarding the destination’s sports tourism.
The sports complex, which first opened in July 2019, was almost completely booked prior to coronavirus, hosting 80,000 visitors and 120,000 room nights in the destination for a $56 million-dollar direct impact in less than a year. When the complex reopened on Saturday, May 23, the destination immediately began booking tournaments that needed to relocate from other venues still closed, including baseball, fastpitch softball, football and rugby tournaments, and the complex is now booked every weekend through the end of the year.
This is not the first time that sports tourism has impacted the destination in a positive way. In 2010, summer tourism received a direct hit from the BP Oil Spill. However, Frank Brown Park, the destination’s older complex, hosted both youth and adult sporting events that summer, and families traveling with their student-athletes still came to Panama City Beach regardless of the spill’s impact on the beach. In the end, Panama City Beach saw their numbers drop 15%, while similar destinations dropped 40% or more.
Ten years following the BP Oil Spill, Panama City Beach is weathering a new kind of storm with COVID-19. However, with an estimated $80 million annual impact, sports tourism is once again setting Panama City Beach apart.
For images of the PCB Sports Complex, visit https://spaces.hightail.com/space/Y0ocUvwA9b.
About Panama City Beach
Panama City Beach is situated on 27 miles of sugar-white sand beaches bordering clear, emerald-green waters where the Gulf of Mexico and St. Andrew Bay converge. With 320 days of sunshine annually and attractions such as St. Andrews State Park and Pier Park, the region has long been favored by travelers seeking an affordable beach vacation with year-round offerings for families, couples, groups and adventure-seekers. These include championship golf courses, spas, sporting events, award-winning dining and diverse recreational activities. In addition, Panama City Beach’s Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport offers non-stop flights on Delta Airlines, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines. For more information, call 850-233-5070 or visit the official website of the Panama City Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau at www.visitpanamacitybeach.com. Stay connected with Panama City Beach on Twitter (@Visit_PCB), Instagram (@Visit_PCB) and Facebook (@VisitPanamaCityBeach).
About Visit Panama City Beach
Visit Panama City Beach is the official destination marketing organization for Panama City Beach, Florida. The award-winning organization has earned industry accreditation (DMAP) from Destinations International, the world’s leading authority in destination marketing, and exists to drive economic opportunity, job creation, community sustainability and quality of life for its residents through marketing, promotion and stewardship of the destination’s REAL.FUN.BEACH. brand and attributes, tourism development, special event production, and managing beach re-nourishment and maintenance programs.
Gina Stouffer / Tori Beth Black Jayna Leach / Lacee Rudd
Lou Hammond Group Panama City Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau
843.408.4360 / 843.647.7389 850.233.5070 / 850.233.5070