The Jerry Springer Show is taping their annual Spring Break segment here in Panama City Beach. This afternoon, the show was brought to the stage at Club La Vela and it was hopping! Each Spring, the show airs a special series of Spring Break segments in a different popular destination, each year a different place. They had not been here before and picked us this year. The taping today was very tasteful and fun, at least by Jerry Springer Show standards and Spring Break standards. The crowd was pumped up and excited to see him and he got them going even more as he organized a bikini contest on stage. In the video below, Springer show staff get the crowd excited, while the Club La Vela securtiy team makes sure that things stay under control. In the photo to the left, Jerry relaxes in the Pussy Cat Lounge, one of the various rooms at La Vela. He gave interviews and photo opportunities before the show.
Once the afternoon was complete at Club La Vela, Jerry and crew made their way to Pineapple Willy's and back to Spinnaker where I am told he enjoyed a nice beach front burger and fries. The crew will remain in Panama City Beach for the rest of the week to tape additional footage of the crowds and interview college students for the upcoming shows, which will air in May.
PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (March 5, 2013) – Pier Park, Panama City Beach’s premier open-air shopping destination with more than 125 popular retail and dining choices, recently welcomed two new additions to its management team, Brent Gardner as the General Manager and Cricket Johnson as the Director of Mall Marketing and Business Development. The announcement was made by Mike Hupp, Senior Vice President of Property Management Community/Lifestyle Centers Division, of Simon Property Group.
“We’re excited to have Gardner and Johnson as integral members of our dynamic team,” said Mike Hupp, Senior Vice President of Property Management Community/Lifestyle Centers Division, of Simon Property Group. “Their combined experience in management, business development, retail and marketing will be an asset to Pier Park as the property continues to grow as one of the leading shopping destinations in the region.”
As general manager, Gardner will be responsible for all aspects related to the continued success of Pier Park, including mall operations, tenant relations, leasing, marketing, business development, security and customer service. Gardner joins Pier Park after serving as mall manager and assistant mall manager for various Simon properties throughout Louisiana, Florida, Texas and New Mexico.
Johnson will be responsible for advertising sales, sponsorship development, promotional events, PR and marketing campaigns, community programs and tourism related efforts. Prior to joining Pier Park, Johnson served as the Sales Coordinator at the Walton County Tourist Development Council.
As a team effort, they will be focused on maintaining the growing popularity of Pier Park, attracting local residents and visitors from throughout Florida and nearby states. Their focus will also include presenting Pier Park’s annual Ball Drop on New Year’s Eve, as well as a host of other family friendly events throughout the year.
About Pier Park
Pier Park is Panama City Beach’s premier open-air shopping destination with more than 125 retail and dining choices. This one-of-a-kind beachfront family-friendly attraction with resort style, island-inspired architecture features a variety of popular stores, including Dillard’s, jcpenney, Ron Jon Surf Shop, Target, Forever 21, Victoria’s Secret, Old Navy, LOFT and more. Shoppers enjoy numerous eateries like Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, Rum Runners Tropical Grill, Tootsie, Shoney’s, Red Robin and Five Guys Burgers and Fries, as well as a Grand IMAX Theater and activity packed Miracle Strip. Pier Park is located at 600 Park Drive in Panama City Beach. For more information on Pier Park, call (850) 236-9979 or visit www.simon.com/mall/pier-park, www.facebook.com/ShopPierPark or www.twitter.com/PierPark.
About Simon Property Group
Simon Property Group, Inc. (NYSE:SPG) is an S&P 100 company and the largest real estate company in the world. The Company currently owns or has an interest in 331 retail real estate properties in North America and Asia comprising 241 million square feet. We are headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana and employ approximately 5,500 people in the U.S. For more information, visit the Simon Property Group website at www.simon.com.
Update: February 18: We've learned that the Bay County Transportation Planning Organization (Bay County TPO) will hold a public meeting to solicit input regarding a proposed fare increase for Bay Town Trolley This meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 20, 2013, 10:00 am CST at the Bay County Public Library (898 W. 11th Street, Panama City, FL 32401). Public comments will be heard from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Proposed fare increases are on the one day pass (from $3 to $5) and on the 31 day pass (from $30 to $40). The plan is to keep the single ride fare at $1.50 per ride.
The Bay County Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) has just announced enhancements to their service for 2013.
2012 showed higher than anticipated increases in ridership on both the Bay Town Trolley and the demand response service, Bay Area Transportation.
Planned upgrades, pending funding, include:
•Additions to the current trolley fleet
•Improvements at trolley stops throughout Bay County
•Exploration of partnering with Google Transit
“To say that 2012 was a very exciting year for us, is an understatement,” said Gene Keen, Chief Administrative Manager for Bay Town Trolley. “During the past 12 months, we have consistently moved full buses throughout the community. With increased demand and loading times, we’ve continued to work hard on maintaining route schedules to get passengers where they need to go. We look forward to continuing to meet this need in 2013.”
The Bay Town Trolly will add five full-length buses in the spring. assisting with current overcrowding on some of the highest traffic routes. Additionally,the Bay TPO is working to improve trolley stops by making them compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Finally an exciting part of the plan is the exploration of partnering with Google Transit. This system-wide integration would allow riders to easily plan trips using public transportation with the click of a button. Trip planning will give users step-by-step directions, including distance to a nearest trolley stop, route transfers and total travel time.
“We are always working to improve the rider experience and look forward to these exciting enhancements in 2013,” said Vikki Garrett, staff to the Bay County TPO and West Florida Regional Planning Council planner. “These public transportation services in Bay County continue to meet a strong demand in the community. With the support of both riders and non-riders alike, we will continue to blaze a path to mobility and access for all.”
For more information about Bay Town Trolley or Bay Area Transportation, or if you have insight into a trolley stop that needs upgrading, please contact Vikki Garrett of the West Florida Regional Planning Council at 850-332-7976, extension 211.
Just about an hour north of the white sandy beaches of Panama City Beach, visitors and locals are invited to escape to a peaceful, history filled section of the panhandle. Jackson and Washington Counties offer plenty of nature to explore and historic sites to visit. There is even a winery!
The two counties have teamed up and now offer day trips from Panama City Beach.
The first one was today, however, there are three more scheduled and self guided tours are also encouraged.
The next day trip is for Washington County and will be on Monday, February 11. The bus leaves at 8am from Grand Panama Resort and will take you to Fallilng Waters State Park. This is the tallest waterfall in Florida. Tour participants will take a guided tour with a Florida park ranger, through the park to the waterfall. You will learn about the Civil War era grist mill, the first oil well in the state as well as tales of the native Americans who occupied these lands for 5000 years.
The tour continues on to the Washington County Historical Museum, where you will learn about the stories that make up this area, including the story of how kudzu, the vine that you see all over the South, got its start here. Next stop, Moss Hill Church, one of Florida's oldest standing church buildings, followed by a visit to Three Oaks Winery in Vernon, where you will tour the winery and taste wines made from Muscadine and Conquistador grapes.
Scheduled Dates for this tour are:
Monday, Feb. 11 8am - 4pm
Monday Feb. 25 8am - 4pm
Additionally, you may choose to make the drive yourself and explore Washington Country on your own. Make sure you visit the tourist development website for all of the information on where to go and what to see while you are there.
The Jackson County tour is set for Monday, February 18 and also leaves from Grand Panama Resort at 8am, returning at 4pm. This tour will take you on a 45 minute guided cave tour in Florida Caverns State Park.
Next, you will be treated to an historic homes and buildings tour in Marianna, which includes a walking tour and a driving tour. This tour will take you inside two antebellum homes plus you will be driven through Marianna's historic district to view homes, churches, Confederate Park and cemeteries.
You may visit these sites and more in Jackson County on your own as well. Visit their tourist website for more information.
Both tours give the participant time for lunch on their own and will point out the various restaurants that are available.
To make reservations or to find out more, contact Heather Lopez in the Washingotn County TDC at 850-638-6013 or Pam Fuqua in the Jackson County TDC at 850-482-8060