A long-time local business owner and tourism leader has died.
Pineapple Willies and Wicked Wheel owner Bill Buskell died this week at a local hospital. He was 81. Buskell moved to the area in the 1970’s and bought the Old Pier 99 motel, where Pineapple Willies is now located.
The business became world famous, and was even featured in a Visa credit card commercial. Buskell and his son built the Wicked Wheel, a motorcycle-themed restaurant, on Middle Beach Road in 2012. Buskell was a huge supporter of local tourism through the old Bay County Restaurant and Lodging Association and the Bay County Chamber, and was awarded the Pioneer Award by the Beach Chamber.
The New Orleans Saints fan was also instrumental in the Beach Care Services organization, serving on it’s board.
And every year Pineapple Willie’s held its Pay It Forward promotion, where Buskell donated tens of thousands of dollars in restaurant proceeds to local non-profits.