PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) – This weekend’s chaotic events have many people talking about Panama City Beach but not in a positive way. 

Bay County’s Tourist Development Council works to promote the area as a family-friendly destination rather than a spring break mecca. 

Katxziana Mcwhorter and Austin Rosser are visiting Panama City Beach from Georgia. They said this weekend’s mayhem was like a wet blanket on their vacation. 

“It kinda scared us. We would rather just go back to the hotel and be done with it,” Mcwhorter said. “So we just canceled plans and just went back home.”

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Theresa Painter traveled to the beach with her husband and kids. She said the unruly behavior made them question if they wanted to stay.

“It was scary,” Painter said. “I’ve been hearing about different things around the area of people just because it’s crazy and so I said to my husband I hope that’s not what the rest of this is like because it is scary. I don’t want to be outside alone at nighttime if that’s what’s going to be going on.”

Panama City Beach officials have worked hard over the last few years trying to distance themselves from the old spring break image, and appeal more to families. 

TDC Executive Director Dan Rowe said these visitors are not their target audience, and they don’t reflect what this community really is about. 

“The activities that happened, the lawless behavior that happened was not indicative of our community of our visitors,” Rowe said. “There is nothing about this that is really part of the Panama City Beach brand.”

Rowe said if you are looking to make trouble, don’t come to our community. 

He does not believe this will hurt the reputation they’ve worked hard to build over the last few years. 

He wants to assure visitors that Panama City Beach is a safe place to be. 

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“We work very hard to be able to project and to have a safe family friendly fun place to come and vacation 365 days out of the year,” Rowe said. “So what happened this weekend is truly not consistent with where we are and where we are going.”

Visitors like Jarren Moore said they will not let this incident ruin their vacation. But it is a shame that a small group of people are preventing others from enjoying the beach. 

“I think at a certain point it kinda becomes even more wrong because you know that you are putting other people in danger, not just the person that you have a problem with,” Moore said. 

Rowe said he is very thankful for all the law enforcement that stepped up this weekend to help.