Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Kempner: Evicting spring break was the easy part for Panama City Beach


One of Florida’s most popular beach hot spots is learning how hard it is to kill its reputation as a college and high school spring break guzzle-a-thon and replace it with something safer.
Panama City Beach locals this year thought they found a fresh way to woo Atlantans and others from around the nation to the amazing powdery white sand: three weekends packed with Christian music concerts.
A promoter for RoadTrip Spring Break 2017 promised each would be “a 4-day beach party for 18 to 25-year-olds, where Christians from coast-to-coast gather to redefine spring break.”
Didn’t happen that way.
Ticket sales bombed, according to a woman who built convention space with the events in mind. The March concerts were canned.
“Unfortunately, we put the words ‘spring break’ in our advertisements,” said Clair Pease. “We should have never used those words.”
Parents probably nixed the idea after finding online accounts of past spring break, said Pease. She owns an impressive string of local tourism-connected businesses: rental services for high-rise condos, condo management, a charter boat, commercial laundry, construction firm and house-keeping labor supplier. She’s still mourning the lost concert opportunity.
“It could have been so good …We’ve got to do something good in Panama City.”
PCB (aka PC), a traditional playground for metro Atlanta, is still searching for ways to financially rebuild one of its busiest periods of the year after it pretty much kicked out college spring breakers, one of the hardiest customer bases it ever had.
It’s a lesson for any community or business owner faced with the task of reforming an image shaped by rowdy customers.
A serene spring so far
March is supposed to be a hot period for PCB. But on a recent run through town I didn’t notice a single “no vacancy” sign on hotels though room rates were low. Sure, I spied a few guys shotgunning beer in a secluded spot and saw partying crowds at big beach clubs. Mostly, though, PCB seemed serene.
Still to be seen is how much that mood shift will curtail visiting high schoolers, who some PCBers told me were among the worst hellions of past spring breaks. (Most metro Atlanta public schools go on break the first full week of April, which means the hunt is on for vacation spots.)
“Nobody comes here anymore,” said Autumn Williams, a disappointed looking Georgia Southern University student.
It didn’t help that she was seeing “crazy” Snapchat images posted by friends on spring break in Miami and Cancun. Apparently those places, plus Fort Lauderdale and South Padre Island in Texas, are drawing some of the crowds PCB no longer wants, according to spring breakers I spoke with.
For decades, Georgians have flooded PCB at this time of year. I’ve often been among them, searching for the perfect mix: affordable hotels, space to build a sand chair and less pretension than places farther west along Florida’s 30A.
You just had to accept PCB’s noise and disheveled vibe. If Seaside was a white-robed beach, PC was the cousin in jean cutoffs. Both got the job done.
‘Someone threw a blender’
PCB was well along the way to making its own transition, though. Big high-rise condos and fancier tourist destinations replaced lots of mom and pop operations. But during spring break in recent years, the mood got out of hand, even for people who made money off it. Crime spiked. National media outlets took notice. Locals complained about unruly college kids, uncouth high schoolers and “100 milers” who swept in from nearby communities, sometimes with ill intentions.
“It was a nightmare,” said Heather Lopez, a local waitress who has lived in the area for 20 years. “Someone threw a blender off a balcony and it landed near my six year old.”
Local officials finally had enough. They banned alcohol on public beaches in the month of March, cut bar hours, forbid gatherings in parking lots of closed businesses. More important, they spread the word that PCB would be a spring break buzz kill. Lots of officers and police dogs were stationed near prime party spots.
It worked. Rental bookings sank 40 percent in March 2016 compared to the year before. Arrests logged by the Bay County Sheriff’s Office in beach zones fell by more than half. Hotel operators, scooter rental shops, condo rentals and restaurants saw business plummet. Service workers took home less pay.
Lopez worked lots of double shifts but still ended up down $3,000 for the year.
That’s OK, she told me. “To keep everybody safe, I think the ban needs to stay in place.”
Local officials don’t show signs of easing up. University of Kentucky student Brianna Luther was walking along the beach carrying a brown drink in a plastic cup. She was stopped twice by officers in less than 100 yards.
Just Dr. Pepper, she said. I saw one officer sniff to make sure.
Next year, Luther told me, “I’m going to Miami or Fort Lauderdale.”
Rates fall, ironically
Condo bookings for this March continue to fall, Pease told me. So do rates. Two years ago, she could get $369 for an average peak March night in a two-bedroom condo at the Grand Panama Beach Resort. Now they go for $167. (That’s an ironic development for community leaders who had hoped the crackdown on partyers would help PCB attract a more upscale crowd.)
There are plenty of bright spots, though. Visitors – including many families — swarmed to PCB in even greater numbers last summer. November visits also grew nicely. As a result, bookings for the year were down less than one percent.
PCB area tourism officials have added events, including a car show, a boat show, Unwined (an event that highlights music and wine, craft beer and spirits tastings) and a concert weekend in late April with Sheryl Crow and Darius Rucker.
They’ve also spent $1 million specifically marketing for Spring Break visitors, particularly for older visitors and families with kids.
David Demarest, a spokesman for Visit Panama City Beach, isn’t predicting an immediate wave of giant wholesome crowds, though. “In the next few years, I don’t think March will be the numbers (month) it was.”
It might be longer than that.
“The most resilient customer we ever had was the spring breaker,” said Jack Bishop, who owns local restaurants. “They didn’t care if it was 30 degrees. You will never replace that with family spring breakers or empty nesters.”

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A word from the blog site owner:

In blogosphere terms this is a relatively old blog. All the fireworks are over and there will be no new updates unless something 'newsworthy' about this issue comes up. 

The material is good historically as just about everything I could find on the issue was copied and posted here. So if you are interested in the topic it is all awaiting your review.

Note:  In mid-Jan 2013 I sold my condo at NCC for $93,000, this was about 8% over the going rate for 3/2 condos.  The offer from the developer to repurchase the unit was made 2 weeks after my filing to run for the Board of Directors with the sole platform of bouncing Concord Management out of NCC.

The condo was consistantly mis-managed and all but the very last Board were worthless rubber stamps for the Developer and Concord.  I am pleased to be gone from NCC.

So happy reading folks -

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

In blogosphere terms this is a relatively old blog. All the fireworks are over and there will be no new updates unless something 'newsworthy' about this issue comes up. 

The material is good historically as just about everything I could find on the issue was copied and posted here. So if you are interested in the topic it is all awaiting your review.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

In House CAM or another Management Firm?

There has been some minor interest in using an 'in house' CAM and Maintenance people rather than getting a replacement management firm to step in for Concord.  I inquired of Grandshores on this issue and here is the reply I got from them:

There are several reasons why a community should choose a management company like The Continental Group.

First off, I will argue the savings and here’s why: there is no way that a single community, regardless of its size, can bring the resources, buying power and “clout” to the table as Continental can.

We have the resources of 700+ CAM’s statewide and 31 CAM’s that work out of our Miramar Beach Regional Office. The Certified Vendor Program that we have incorporated assures communities that ALL vendors are licensed, insured and provide the BEST customer service or they are off the program. Our CAM’s are the highest trained and experienced in the industry and we hire only the best of the best.

Our ValueEngineering program will give Nautilus Cove National Account buying privileges with companies such as Waste Management, Otis, AmSan to bring BETTER PRICING to your association. Just last year, we were able to save our associations millions of dollars using these vendors.

If NCC were to hire a CAM at $50,000 per year, you would have to still pay the payroll taxes and any expenses related to that position. These expenses may include major medical insurance, additional liability insurance, uniforms, cell phones, radios, drug testing, criminal background checking, etc. All of these costs are borne by Continental PLUS reducing your expenses with the National Account program.

One of the first things we would do for NCC is to bring in our team of insurance professionals to review and analyze your insurance program. If we cannot reduce your premium by as much as 15%, reduce your deductable while increasing your coverage, I would be very surprised. We just saved Destin Yacht Club $22,000 in insurance premiums and they only have 48 units. Imagine how much in savings there may be at NCC. The Board at The Breakers of Fort Walton Beach was self managed for 25 years. They hired us beginning October 1, 2011 and will tell you that we have saved them in excess of $100,000.00 per year.

Now, if you/they still believe that you can save money by being self managed, then there is no convincing you. We have the best program and our growth will verify that fact.

We would love to spend some time with your Board. If they will take the time, I will show them our program and complete a Cost Savings Analysis and show them where we can save them money.

I did some additional research and found other info:

Hiring (and Firing) A Property Management Company, at this link:
also these sites:

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

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Saturday, January 1, 2011

These are some of the reasons that Concord Management needs to be replaced:
1)  Provided incorrect information on when Turnover Election should be held, (off by 5 months)

2)  Commingling Condo and Developer Funds,

3)  In conjunction with the BOD, scheduling a Turnover Election 52 days before the AGM when both could easily have been combined,

4)  Spending Association time renting out developer condos,

5)  Leaving Condo with no CAM for 4 1/2 months when old CAM was fired,

6)  Taking 1 year to purchase new pool chairs and tables,

7)  Very slow in gate and camera system repairs, 2 motorcycles stolen because of this, (& we got sued for this)

8)  Not enforcing Rules and Regulations as to rental standards, (again sued for this - still in the courts)

9)  Allowing Owners and Renters to continue to use personal barbeque grills in violation of condo regulations,

10)  Very slow in getting maintanence done at condo, (poor staffing for maintanence, sharing maintanence with Stone Harbor development - also managed by Concord)

11)  Office not responsive to Owners complaints, even tenants complain of lack of service and shoddy work when they did get something fixed,

12)  Taking up to 10 months to create minutes of AGMs,

13)  Refusing to provide information as to why a 4/16/08 'Emergency' 2 minute BOD meeting was necessary when Concord departed briefly and Seagrove Management came back,

14)  Historically very tardy in filing liens for past due owners, (more recently this has changed for the better)

15)  Setting up a Compliance/Fining Committee of 3 people when 2 were not eligible to serve (1 was not an owner another was a BOD member)

Do you want a new Management firm at Nautilus Cove?

A comprehensive management proposal was sent to the Owner members of the Nautilus Cove Condo BOD by an international management firm with regional representation in the panhandle.  This firm currently represents the Westwinds on the Sandestin Resort, Majestic Sun, Destin, The Grand Sandestin, Ariel Dunes and Ariel Dunes II, Destin.

The 24 page proposal covers all aspects of representation including costs.  If  you are an interested Owner I would be pleased to provide you a copy of this document via email.  Please note that this information would only be provided to verifiable Owners at NCC.  

My previous inquiries have indicated that the recently signed 3 year sweetheart contract with Concord Management could be undone in several ways.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2010 Budget F.Y.I.:

The 2 documents below are NOT part of the above proposal and are taken from the blog found at: , they are on this site to give you an idea of our Assn. financials.

Nautilus Cove Budget for 2010
Misc FYI:  The document title should read '2010 Proposed Budget'.  It was put together in 2009 and approved by the BOD on Dec. 20, 2009 as the 2010 budget.

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Monday, December 27, 2010

10/25/10 Balance Sheet FYI:

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Posted by PicasaInformation is provided on this blog site for owners or renters at Nautilus Cove Condos. The information comes from public records or condo documents and is published here to assist your efforts in finding them.  Direct inquiries to:

This is a private site and is not associated with the developer or the association.

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Residents are reminded that they must clean up after their dogs.  Our Rules and Regulations provide at A. General Rules 7.b. "Messes made by pets must be removed by Owners or handlers immediately."  Unfortunately many residents are NOT doing this.  

Fines of up to $100 per occurrence may be levied for those not in compliance.  If you know of anyone disregarding this rule please advise the office of the unit number involved.


Lending Library is Available for Residents

There is a free lending library in the clubhouse. The approx. 125 donated books are available to any resident. 

No library card is required and there is no time limit for their return. Take a few and if you have any to donate then leave them for others to read.

(Most Photos: Anderson Marine, Construction of Retention Pond mid 2006 (If you want to see a 6 minute video of the 1,000 ft Everlast Seawalls being installed at Nautilus Cove, Florida click on:

NOTE: This is a private site and is not associated with the developer or the association.

Contact Info:

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Various photos of Nautilus Cove Condo, Panama City Beach, Fla.

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