Memorial Day Weekend brings in thousands of tourists

Panama City Beach

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) —Memorial Day Weekend celebrations continue around the Panhandle, especially out on Panama City Beach. 

Tourists from all over have come down to Bay County to celebrate the holiday out on the white sandy beaches. Vacationers say they’re happy to be out of the house, and businesses say they’re happy to serve them.

After being shut down for some time,  local businesses all across the Panhandle say they have been waiting for an influx of vacationers like they are seeing this weekend.

“We had about 200 to 300 customers just in the first few hours of opening,” said Coco Loco’s Employee, Dillon Weems.

Panhandle Water Sports and Coastal Parasailing staff say they have been busy non-stop since Friday, with customers wanting to hit the water.

“It’s been really crazy this weekend and started to pick up after Friday, and we’re just glad to have all these people back here on the beach and to be making money again,” said Beach and Jet Ski Attendant, Esteban Villarrell.

“We’ve been slammed this weekend. We’re doing over 50 skis a day, we’re constantly running back-and-forth, there’s lines of people at the hut. I mean it’s definitely a big difference from the past couple months,” said Beach and Jet Ski Attendant, Gage Manger.

Many say this is the most crowds they’ve seen since last Summer.

“We’re seeing a lot of families, but also at the same time we’re seeing a lot of vacationers, people who are trying to get their Spring Break back that they didn’t get this year because of the virus,” said Coco Loco’s Employee, Jacob Munn.

“I mean everybody’s enjoying it, everybody’s been cooped up in their house stuck so I mean they’re enjoying it. They can come down and enjoy the beach and not get tickets or fines or anything like that,” said Manger.

“It’s probably been the busiest it’s been all Summer to be honest, like it’s picked up. Memorial Day Weekend obviously so its going to pick up really hard this weekend,” said Munn.

Some say it feels like Spring Break all over again.

“Lots of parties, lots of parties everywhere. On the side of the road, on the beach front, everywhere,” said Tourist, Kopelin Friar.

“Yeah there’s been crazy amounts of people, no parking for real but it’s been really fun,” said Tourist, Alicia Lunsford.

“Yeah I’d say yeah… It is like it used to be in PCB,” said Tourist, Logan Padgett.

The large crowds will most likely continue into Memorial Day on Monday, but officials remind beach-goers to continue practicing social distancing.

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