Pepsi Gulf Coast leads to a rise in tourism

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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla (WMBB)– Labor day weekend is just a few days away and the Panhandle is gearing up for Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam. It’s a weekend full of country music, fun, and great memories.

The Panama City Beach Visitors Bureau says they expect a great turnout. Not only will these visitors be attending the concert– but also helping our local economy by staying at hotels and eating at local restaurants.
The event also serves as a driving force for tourism.

“Historically, Labor Day hasn’t hit 100% capacity before until the addition of Gulf Coast Jam so it really brings in a lot of visitor spending. That’s increased about 10% over the years for the month of September,” said Lacee Rudd, Visit Panama City Beach Public Relations Manager.

The concert attracts tourists from across the country.Last year, Panama City Beach saw a great turnout.

“The 2018 festival brought in over 73,000 visitors from all 50 states and 14 different countries so we’re looking for another solid weekend for 2019,” Rudd said.

The influx of visitors also helps to bring revenue back into the local economy. As the Panhandle continues to rebuild after Hurricane Michael, Rudd says events like these are a great way to bring the community back together.

“This is a kind of event that locals and visitors look forward to every single year. It’s an annual event and it brings everyone together and everyone just has so much fun when there’s live music and they’re just together as a community having fun and letting loose for the weekend,” Rudd said.

Concert-goers can expect some familiar faces this weekend and some new ones.

The fun begins Friday at 2 p.m. when gates open. For more information on how to score tickets and to view the lineup, visit http://www.gulfcoastjam.com/.

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