Joe Biggs, the promoter for the Thunder Beach Rally in Panama City Beach says the oil spill will have no affect on the semi annual rally except possibly provide motorcycle tourists with the opportunity to seek deals with condo and hotels on rooms before and after the event.
Biggs said that even if the oil has come ashore before the rally, it will not cause any disruption of the venues or events. The USRiderNews Best of the Beach Bike show will be held as planned at Pier Park, 3 blocks off the beach.
The text of the interview follows;
1. How is the oil spill impacting the rally?
The impact of the Louisiana oil spill tragedy is clearly beginning to have an adverse effect on the lodging industry in Panama City Beach. The local Tourist Development Council, Chambers of Commerce and other organizations have been has been aggressively advertising to let people know that there are many other things to do in PCB besides activities related to the beaches and Gulf of Mexico. However, considering the economic impact of just those two activities and the potential long term consequences of the oil spill, the Thunder Beach Autumn Rally presents a perfect opportunity to help our community when it needs it the most.
2. Is there any reason to cancel the fall rally because of the oil?
Absolutely not! We have no activities that will in any way be curtailed by the oil situation (which, at this time has had a very, very small effect on PCB). As you can imagine, all of our loyal Venues and Sponsors are even more excited than ever about all of our Riders coming in for the Rally.
3. Are there housing deals to be found because of the situation?
Our lodging partners in Panama City Beach have experienced many other set-backs over the years and they have always shown amazing resilience. We feel sure that accommodations rates and other benefits will definitely be set to encourage our Riders and other visitors to come to PCB at a time when they are so greatly needed. Even without the “help” of BP, this is a time of year when the local business community needs your patronage.
4. Pensacola got hit with the oil this morning, has it reached PCB yet?
As of this writing, the actual presence of tar balls or other oil residue on Panama City Beach has been extremely minimal. With that said, our community is incredibly protective of our little slice of paradise, and is not waiting to “see what happens”. Although they are working with the state and federal government, Bay County officials are ready to respond on a moments notice to clean any oil related residue away from our beautiful white sand beaches!
5. Will the vendors still come?
By the time the Autumn Rally gets here, we should have more vendors on hand than any other “fall social” in Thunder Beach history! The primary reason for this is directly related to our moving the Autumn dates to the first weekend in October instead of the last weekend in September. This will allow many of the national “Big-Rig” vendors, manufactures and other major vendors to be in attendance. The Street Vibrations Rally in Reno NV, the biggest and oldest on the west coast, has prevented many of our regular Spring Rally vendors from making it in the fall.
6. Has the oil spill caused any venue changes?
The oil spill will have virtually no effect on our seven Official Thunder Beach Venues: The Shoppes at Edgewater, Frank Brown Park, Sharky’s Beach Club, Club La Vela, Pineapple Willy’s, the Bay Point Marriott Resort and Laketown Wharf. As always the US Rider News “Best of The Beach at Thunder Beach Custom Bike Show” will once again be held at its central location at Pier Park.
7. Anything else you can think of to add?
All of our local tourism officials, government leaders and, above all, business and community leaders want all of our Riders to know how important they are to Panama City Beach and the entire Bay County area. We all know that the hospitality traditionally shown here to all of our brothers and sisters has been second to none!! This will probably wind up being one of the most difficult summer seasons (if not years) in Panama City Beach history. If you have not already done so, please make plans today to attend the 10th Annual Thunder Beach Autumn Rally, September 30th through October 3rd. Tell your friends what a great time you always have with us, and if you can, take advantage of the low rates and stay a few extra day at either end (or both ends) of the Rally!! We all look forward to seeing you!