Tourism & Business

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Tourism

Tourism is Bay County’s number one industry, generating over $1.2 billion in direct visitor spending and supporting over 20,000 local jobs. Tourism-generated revenue and tourism related taxes benefit every resident of Bay County.

The Bay County Tourist Development Council (TDC) and Panama City Community Development Council (CDC) are responsible for marketing Panama City and Panama City Beach as a year-round tourist destination, funded through a 5% tourist development tax applied to short-term overnight accommodation rentals, which equals to about 12 million visitor days/nights each year.  The tax also pays for beach restoration, cleaning and maintenance efforts, as well as event support.

The TDC and CDC have adopted a strategic focus to enhance the visitor experience, develop the area into a year-round destination, effectively market Panama City and Panama City Beach and diligently protect our most important natural resources – our coastlands and our beach. For more information on Bay County Tourism, visit www.VisitPanamaCityBeach.com or destinationpanamacity.com.

Economic Development

The Economic Development Alliance of Bay County

www.BayEDA.com / 850.215.9965

“Welcome to Bay County, Florida! We are delighted to have you in our community and hope that you are enjoying our unsurpassed quality of life and exceptional business climate. Our mission at BayEDA is to help diversify our local economy by attracting new and expanding businesses that are making significant investments and creating quality jobs. Our public and private partners are committed to growing quality jobs in the targeted sectors of aviation and aerospace, technology, advanced manufacturing, distribution, and logistics.

The EDA’s team of professionals is available to confidentially assist those interested in doing business in Bay County with the following services:

  • Confidential Project Management
  • Site Selection
  • Customized Research
  • Demographic and Labor Market Analysis
  • State and Local Incentives Assistance
  • Permitting Assistance
  • Workforce Development
  • Public/ Private Partnerships
  • Real Estate Marketing

Once settled, we hope to have the opportunity to meet you and would love for you to help us spread the word about the great assets here. Our staff would be delighted to assist you with your expansion or relocation needs.”

– Garrett Wright, Vice President, BayEDA

Bay County’s Community Assets

  • Two Pad Ready Sites Certified by McCallum Sweeney International Site Location Consultants
  • The Only Certified Site with Rail Access at the Port’s Intermodal Distribution Center
  • International Airport with a 10,000 foot Runway and
  • Thousands of Acres for Development
  • Strong Deep-Water Port
  • Freight Rail & Interstate Connectivity
  • Tier-One Research University Branch Campus
  • Skilled Workforce Bolstered by Major Military Presence
  • Advanced Technology Center
  • No State Income Tax
  • Right to Work State

For more information on the EDA, call (850)215-9965 or visit www.BayEDA.com.

Major Employers

 

Tyndall Air Force Base 6,416
Naval Support Activity (NSA PC) 4,931
Bay District Schools 3,943
Bay Medical Sacred Heart 1,864
TRANE 807
Goodwill Industries – Big Bend 800
Eastern Shipbuilding Group 746
Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center 690
Edgewater Beach & Gulf Resort 650
Bay County Government 636
City of Panama City 557
Bay County Sheriff’s Office 522
WestRock 470
Berg Steel Pipe Corp. 405
Gulf Coast State College 400
DRMP 372
Wal-Mart 345
Bay Haven Charter Academy 300
City of Panama City Beach 270
SWS Environmental Services 268
Tyndall Federal Credit Union 267
Life Management Center 250

Employment Services

Looking to advance your career in Bay County or hire new employees? Look no further than CareerSource and Adecco, the two premier staffing and career development agencies in the area.

CareerSource Gulf Coast

625 Highway 231, Panama City, FL 32405
www.CareerSourceGC.com/(850)872-4340

CareerSource Gulf Coast is part of the statewide CareerSource Florida network and offers partnerships and programs that are responsive to the community’s needs. In Bay County, the organization has multiple placement and training centers. Their main location, CareerSource Gulf Coast Job Center is considered the region’s one-stop center serving Bay, Gulf, and Franklin Counties. It offers innovative solutions to assist businesses succeeded in today’s competitive environment, while providing comprehensive services for job seekers to obtain or advance their careers. CareerSource Gulf Coast uses the Employ Florida Marketplace, the statewide delivery system for workforce services.

Adecco

625 Highway 231, Panama City, FL 32405
www.adecco.com/(850)747-1211

Located inside CareerSource Gulf Coast, Adecco a Panama City staffing agency. Future employees can submit their resumes and trust this company to find the job that best matches their skills and needs. Adecco also helps by setting up interviews for their clients and offer tips to help advance their careers.

Distribution

VentureCrossings Enterprise Center

VentureCrossings Enterprise Center in West Bay in Panama City Beach, Florida, offers a strategic location for those seeking to launch, expand or consolidate a business. Numerous real estate options exist—pad-ready sites, build to- suit construction, and thousands of acres of developable land — offering businesses flexibility and capacity to grow. The location allows for the potential for 24/7 operations and for transportation options via air, land or sea.

Anchored by Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport, major arterial highways and several Florida Gulf Coast military installations, this growing commercial hub can provide the connections and solutions for your expanding business. A premier location, affordable land, and a motivated workforce with numerous training and educational facilities nearby, create a nurturing environment for businesses.

The Bay Line Railroad

The Bay Line Railroad connects freight service throughout the continental U.S. linking to CSX’s 21,000- mile network while serving major population centers in 23 states east of the Mississippi and parts of Canada. It also connects to Norfolk Southern, linking 22 states and every major container port in the eastern U.S.

Port Panama City

Port Panama City is a growing, deep-water port located directly on St. Andrews Bay in Panama City with Free Trade Zone status. It has facilities for handling general and bulk cargo. Port Panama City’s location provides a Gulf Coast gateway to shippers and consignees in Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Tennessee and the Carolinas. Key commodities handled at the port include containerized cargo, forest products, copper, and steel. Bulk Cargos include wood pellets, aggregates, and molasses. The Port Authority is currently developing a new $55 million forest products terminal to accommodate ongoing growth of cargo activity. The Port also has industrial available at its 200 acre Intermodal Distribution Center located on Highway 231 (15 miles north of Panama City).

Transportation Highway Network

Bay County highways are complemented by U.S. Highways 98 and 231, and Florida Routes 20, 22, 77 and 79. Interstate Highway 10 is located 13 miles from the northern portion of Bay County and 38 miles from the center of Panama City, linking Florida to California and intersecting with nine of the 10 north-south interstate highways.

U.S. Military Installations

U.S. Military Installations surround the region and provide a stabilizing economic influence on the area. Naval Support Activity Panama City and Tyndall Air Force Base in Bay County, along with nearby Eglin Air Force Base, serve as a catalyst for attracting a strong cluster of research activity, defense contractors, aviation and aerospace related companies and suppliers.

Coast Guard Station Panama City

Coast Guard Station Panama City is located adjacent to Naval Support Activity Panama City in Panama City Beach, FL. It was later moved to Alligator Bayou located on the western shore of St. Andrews Bay in October 1971.

The main building is 14,000 square feet and is situated on 11 acres of land. The Station has two 45-foot Response Boat Medium Vessels, 25 and 29-foot Response Boat Small SAFE boats to carry out Search and Rescue, Homeland Security, Maritime Law Enforcement and Environmental Protection missions. The Station’s area of responsibility extends 50 miles offshore and stretches along 168 miles of coastline from Lake Powell in the west to Rock Island in the east. This large area also incorporates the vigilant watch over 40 bayous, 18 rivers, 16 bays, three sounds, two lakes and 107.5 statute miles of Intracoastal Waterway. The Station is billeted for 30 active duty Coast Guard Personnel and 21 reservists. The Station is the call-out authority for three Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotillas. Coast Guard Station Panama City is the host command for five tenant commands which include: Coast Guard Cutters COHO and Seahawk, Aids to Navigation Team, Sector Field Office and the Electronic Support Detachment.

Naval Support Activity Panama City (NSA PC)

The Naval Support Activity Panama City (NSA PC) is located on 656 acres along St. Andrews Bay. NSA PC hosts a broad spectrum of research, development, testing and training missions, including Mine Countermeasures, Expeditionary Warfare, Special Warfare and diving. Nearly 4,600 military personnel, Department of Defense civilians and contractor personnel are employed at NSA PC. Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division (NSWC PCD) is the largest of 17 tenants and the top Navy laboratory for Mine Warfare Systems, Expeditionary and Special Warfare and diving and life support systems. NSA PC hosts the Naval Experimental Diving Unit and Center for Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Diving, Panama City. These two units, along with the Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center, supports the multi-service training of more than 12,000 students annually, making Panama City the hub for all military diving.

Tyndall Air Force Base (TAFB)

Tyndall Air Force Base (TABF) encompasses more than 29,000 acres in southeastern Bay County. Their host command, 325th Fighter Wing, is dedicated to their primary mission: “TRAIN AND PROJECT UNRIVALED COMBAT AIR POWER.” As one of the Air Combat Command’s largest installations, the wing trains F-22 pilots and maintainers, intelligence specialist, and airfield operations officers. The installation is also home to T-38 Talons, the 2nd Fighter Training Squadron (also known as the American Beagles), and 30 associate organizations, including Headquarters 1st Air Force, 601st Air Operations Center, 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group, and AFCEC. Approximately 6,400 military, civilian and contract personnel are employed at Tyndall, making it the largest employer in Bay County. The base provides support facilities for more than 9,000 military retirees and has a local impact that exceeds $600 million.