PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — Panama City Beach is preparing for the annual IRONMAN Florida Triathlon

Almost 2,500 people are expected to compete in the triathlon. 

“These people are here and they’re from all over and they’re spending some dollars at the restaurants and the hotels,” Panama City Beach director of sports marketing Chris O’Brien said. “And you know just enjoying the city.”

With so many people traveling to compete in the race, O’Brien is expecting around $9 million to be spent in the area. 

“Each person, they’re here spending dollars every day,” O’Brien said. “So you know, let’s say 10,000 people spending that money, you know it adds up pretty quick.”

O’Brien said that many people competing in the competition bring their families with them. Many also decide to spend a few days at the beach and use the race as a vacation for the family.

“We bring a lot of tourism,” Ben Rausa, the Ironman Race Director said. “The event was established in 1999 in November, it would be the second oldest in the country.”

First responders also play a large role in gearing up for the IRONMAN. They are tasked with closing off parts of Front and Back Beach Road and Highway 79 and Highway 388. The race will last all day Saturday.
You can see what roads will be closed on the IRONMAN website.