PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — Athletes from around the country will make their way to Panama City Beach this summer.
Tourism officials have scheduled athletic tournaments at the Publix Sports Park all season long.
Local leaders said these visiting teams are a big economic boost for the area.
“We know that our visitors are going to come down for those summer months of June and July, and our Publix Sports Park is just going to enhance the visitor numbers that we have in the area,” Visit Panama City Beach Public Relations Manager Lacee Rudd said. “They’re hosting so many events this year at the sports park. I mean, the sports park is just boosting the visitor numbers and helping out with the economy.”
The tournaments translate into hotel stays.
“We love having them come in because then we get to kind of feel like we’re a part of that sports tournament, and we have so much fun with them,” Holiday Inn Resort Vice President of Marketing Elise Jetton said. “Seeing them walk through the lobby all dressed and ready to go, and then when they get to come back and if they win or they lose, they get to unwind here at the resort.”
The sports crowds are exactly what Panama City Beach officials were hoping for.
“Our end goal was to be the premier sports destination in the United States, and I think that we’re already there… It’s something that’s already happening,” Rudd said. “These families that come down that experience the sports tournaments that also get to vacation in Panama City Beach: what else could you ask for?”
The first sporting event to kick off the summer tournament season is the Snap Soccer Trident Cup. It begins this Saturday at the Publix Sports Park.