PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla.(WMBB) — While the Thunder Beach Spring Rally scheduled for this weekend was cancelled, motorcyclists can still be seen around Panama City Beach as they made the trip anyway.
“A lot of people, I think they’re tired of being cooped up at home,” said Kathy McKenzie, General Manager at Harley-Davidson Panama City Beach. “I think that this was their time to come visit anyways and I don’t think they were going to let this get in the way.”
Down the road at Indian Motorcycles, General Manager Randy Moore said it’s a breath of fresh air.
“I’ve had a pretty busy day with customers walking in and it’s a blessing,” said Moore.
McKenzie said they have seen plenty of visitors coming from other states.
“They’ve come down, they’ve had hotel rooms booked for 6 months to a year,” she said. “They’re coming down to get away.”
Some of those visitors said that without taking proper safety precautions, it might be premature.
“I think it’s too early,” said Wes Hardin, a former Panama City Beach resident who now lives in Alabama. “I know people don’t want to hear that but I think to be out and get back out into the restaurant situation even with social distancing, Alabama hasn’t reached its peak. Certainly where I’m from, Houston County hasn’t even come close to reaching its peak.”
Others said it’s time to live life.
“Doesn’t mean that you can’t be cautious but you still got to live your life,” said Keisha Taylor, another Alabama resident who came to visit for the weekend. “You can’t just let this one thing take everything from you.”
With beaches reopen, Hardin said the state line is as busy as ever.
“The roads heading south were full of bikers and cars and SUVs,” he said.
In the meantime, Moore said they’ll take all the business they can get, both online and in-store.
“All my employees are still working so we’re doing what we can to help everybody else,” he said. “We’re still selling motorcycles.”