Local businesses thrive from Thunder Beach crowds

Panama City Beach

PANAMA CITY BEACH Fla. (WMBB) — The Thunder Beach Rally is fun for all the bikers but also for local businesses. 

Restaurant and bar owners are saying the crowds have been piling in since last weekend. 

Some say this spring rally is shaping up to be the biggest one yet. 

Owner of Patches Pub, Vincent Greiner, said business has been non-stop. He said bikes have filled the parking lot since Sunday. 

“Business has just been off the charts,” Greiner said. “It’s wonderful, we’ve got a lot of great people from out of town.”

He said this is exactly what they needed after the spring rally was cancelled the last two years.

“It’s just a big party weekend and a safe party weekend where everybody is having a good time, listening to music and relaxing on the patio,” Greiner said.

Bikers travel from all over to enjoy the Thunder Beach festivities and they know the best spots to find good music and fun.

Paul Busuttil, the owner of Busters Beer and Bait, said there are some bikers that come back to the bar each year.

“These people that are here have been coming back every year so they always come back and say hi and hang out for a little bit and then move on to whatever activities are going,” Busuttil said.

Busuttil said business has been booming all day and all night. He said this is a great thing for not just his business but all of them on the beach that have taken a major hit over the last two years.

“It’s really a big boom to our economy and these are nice bikers that are here so it’s a refreshing change to what it was last year,” Busuttil said.

Both Patches and Busters say it has been a safe and fun week so far, and they hope it continues to stay that way through the weekend.

“There are a lot of bikes on the road and a lot of cars on the road so look twice to save a life,” Busuttil said.

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