PANAMA CITY BEACH Fla. (WMBB) — The increased Labor Day traffic is also helping popular tourist attractions.
Local managers say this holiday weekend has been one of their best weekends of the summer – even better than past years.
The increased attendance came as a shock for many, but a welcome sign of progress.
Drew Morales the General Manager at Ripley’s: Believe it or Not, said this summer has been much different than past years.
“So it has kinda built up over the summer, it had its peaks and valleys because of the regulations,” said Morales.
He said business has been about half of what it normally is this summer – until labor day weekend.
“It’s almost back to the normal admits that we normally get, not quite there but pretty steady and we’ve been pleasantly surprised,” said Morales
The holiday weekend has been one of the busiest of the season at Ripley’s, just falling short to the Fourth of July.
Over at Shipwreck Island Water Park, General Manager Buddy Wilkes says this Labor Day has by far been their best weekend of the summer.
“The numbers are way up, they’re not up to where they were on a normal summer day but they are way higher than they were last labor day,” said Wilkes.
After a slow season, Wilkes is happy to see more smiling faces back on the slides, but wonders if the park would still have had success this Labor Day weekend had circumstances been different.
“Does it have to do with Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam being cancelled or maybe even SEC and ACC football not going on,” said Wilkes. “We don’t know but this is a good problem to have.”
Since September 12 is the final day of the season for the water park, Wilkes says this busy day is what the business needed to top off the year.