WHY IT RATES: Panama City Beach continues to break tourism records and is boosting its offerings in response to increased demand. —Janeen Christoff, TravelPulse Senior Writer
Known for its 360 annual days of sunshine, 27 miles of sugar-white sand beaches and brilliant emerald waters, Panama City Beach continues to break tourism records year after year. In order to keep up with demand, this beloved beach destination is expanding at an incredible rate, with a number of new developments on the horizon including new attractions, restaurants, shops and hotels.
“We are thrilled to see continued investment in our community and eagerly await a number of new developments debuting soon,” shares Visit Panama City Beach President and CEO Dan Rowe. “With new properties and attractions opening and even more planning to break ground, the destination’s unprecedented growth is proof that the ‘World’s Best Beach’ is the year-round, Gulf Coast hot spot for travelers of all ages.”
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Below are Panama City Beach’s latest developments:
Swampy Jack’s WONGO Adventure
Panama City Beach’s brand-new, hybrid amusement park- Swampy Jack’s WONGO Adventure opened just last month. Guests can experience thrilling rides and attractions such as the Blue Hole,funky and surreal bumper cars; the Swamp Ape, the park’s signature attraction featuring a 25’ tall photo-bombing Swamp Ape, lights, music and fog; the Yacuma, a grand serpent wipeout ride; and the iconic Kraken, an experience that will send adventurers swirling upwards.
The park also brings the thrill of a Mario Kart video game to life with the most unique go-kart experience anywhere with its interactive outdoor track- Marrakesh Road Rally. Four additional construction phases will expand the park over the next seven years.
SkyTrail Ropes Course at SkyWheel
The SkyTrail at SkyWheel Panama City Beach is an aerial attraction engineered for both safety and fun. Ensuring guests are connected at all times, participants are fitted with a full-body harness and redundant sling line inserted into the overhead track, while they explore suspended bridges, cargo nets, rope ladders and more. Whether looking for an adrenaline rush or to just take it slow and steady, this attraction is perfect for adventurers of all ages, complete with a tiny tot section for little ones under 48” tall.
Hang Five Beach Bar & Grill
Since opening in June, this new beachfront restaurant is quickly becoming a local favorite with breathtaking views, tasty cocktails and fresh seafood. Guests can grab a seat at the bar or watch the sunset from the deck outside while enjoying favorite menu items for lunch or dinner such as Seafood Nachos, the Hang Five Beach Burger, Blackened Mahi-Mahi Tacos or The Big Kahuna Platter with fried grouper, shrimp, oysters and a delicious crab cake.
Alvin’s Island No. 1 (Runaway Island)
The newest Alvin’s Island, located on Front Beach Road, caters to visitors and locals alike by offering everything from bathing suits, beach towels, suntan products and beach shoes to resort wear, beach toys, rafts and Panama City Beach souvenirs.
Calypso Towers III
The first condo construction to take place in Panama City Beach in 10 years – Calypso Resort and Towers’ Tower IIIis due to open early March 2020 and will be located adjacent to Pier Park, offering striking Gulf views and convenient access to the beach just steps away from some of the destination’s favorite shopping and entertainment. This third Calypso Tower will feature 250 executive units with both three-bedroom and one-bedroom plans.
Margaritaville Panama City Beach Resort
Featuring Margaritaville’s casual-luxe design, the Margaritaville Panama City Beach Resort covers more than 13 acres in Panama City Beach and will offer a full-service hotel, innovative amenity park, function space, several signature Margaritaville food and beverage concepts, retail, residential properties for sale and more. With flexible occupancy options, guestrooms will cater to both couples and family groups, all offering scenic views of the surrounding landscape. The resort is expected to begin a phased opening in Spring 2021.
The St. Joe Company and Key International, a prominent Miami developer, broke ground in August for a new $50 million Embassy Suites on Front Beach Road next door to Pier Park. When it opens March 2021, the hotel will feature 255 rooms in a sprawling four- and five-story “E”-shaped building facing the Gulf, with amenities including an on-site restaurant, meeting space, fitness center, resort-style swimming pool, sky bar and upper-level event space with Gulf views.
TownePlace Suites by Marriott
Next year, Panama City Beach will welcome a brand-new 124-room hotel in the extensive shopping and entertainment district of Pier Park. The St. Joe Company and InterMountain Management broke ground on the joint venture in October 2018 and are planning to cater the property towards families looking to visit the destination year-round.
New Hotel at Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport
The St. Joe Company has also announced plans to build a third new Panama City Beach hotel, in addition to its 252-room Embassy Suites and 124-room TownePlace Suites. This hotel will be located adjacent to the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport within what is already St. Joe’s 110,500-acre development known as the Bay-Walton Sector Plan and is anticipated to help service a more than 300 percen increase in passenger traffic to the airport since 2009. More details will be announced soon.
SOURCE: Panama City Beach press release.