College students in Panama City Beach for Spring Break

Some say Panama City Beach’s Spring Break reputation is still attracting college students to the area. However, some business owners say it’s a different type of crowd that’s drawn to the beach this year.

College students may not be swarming Panama City Beach like before, but some are taking to the skies to get a bird’s-eye view of the beach.

“But every month of every year has been up for us. It’s going crazy here,” JR Hott, President and Owner of Panhandle Helicopter said.

Hott said business isn’t slowing down despite the Spring Break laws.

“We are seeing more families and we’re seeing the students that aren’t so much concerned about getting inebriated on the beach,” Hott explained. “They’re coming here to have a good time, enjoy the location.”

One hotel owner told NewsChannel 7/Local 18 that business is slower this year compared to last year.

“Now I do understand that it has hurt some businesses and that’s unfortunate. We never like to see any of our business partners in Panama City Beach suffer any negative effects of any kind of ordinance, but it was getting a little out of hand,” Hott said.

Despite the alcohol ban on the sandy beach, some college students like Jordan Martens and her friends still traveled to the beach for Spring Break.

“Well we were planning on coming and then we just had stuff come up so we couldn’t and then on Tuesday we decided, ‘let’s just go’ so we left Wednesday morning and we came here,” Martens said.

She says they enjoyed it so much, they have plans to return soon.

“I love it. I want to come back in the summer,” Martens said.

Other Spring Break laws include alcohol sales ending at two in the morning and no open house parties. Metal shovels are also banned along with digging holes deeper than two feet in the sand.

Source:  News Channel 7

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