PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. - Local hotels are seeing a dramatic increase in online reservations from South Floridians headed to Panama City Beach to evacuate their homes that are being threatened by Hurricane Irma.
A Jupiter resident said he and his family arrived to Panama City Beach today with their dogs and their most important belongings.
"We made these reservations a week ago when we first saw Irma was heading toward Florida. You know, cancel the day of if it turns, but if it doesn't, I'll have a reservation," he said.
Those who did not make their reservations earlier are having difficulty finding hotels in the area. Kathy Barrs, the General Manager of the La Quinta at Coastal Palm said they are sold out through the weekend.
"Two of our other La Quintas are here on the beach, and they're sold out also. Many people are evacuating from Miami to get out of the way of the hurricane, some are coming from Jacksonville, we're getting calls from all over the place," she said.
Philip "Grif" Griffitts, the owner of the La Quinta said they're trying to be as accommodating as possible for the evacuees.
"Really kind of using our gut feeling working with people if they have problems or refunds are needed, "we're trying to make as many accommodations for those people as we can, because you never know we might be in their position one day as well," he said.
La Quinta hotels in surrounding states are also completely booked. The closest location to actually book a reservation is in Tennessee.
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