Bay County Locals Respond to Hannity Spring Break Report - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Bay County Locals Respond to Hannity Spring Break Report

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The profanity, the explicitness, the craziness depicted on Hannity's show on Fox News is a hard pill for anyone to swallow. The video has gone viral. The toxic tradition that is Spring Break has hit national air waves Monday surprising some, but not all of those that live here.

"I think people are more mad at how national news is depicting our small home town because two-thirds out of the year its just a super small quiet place to live," said Adam Cantrell, a Bay County business owner and lifelong resident.

"We put the report on our Miguel Show Facebook page and it blew up with comments," said Miguel Fuller, a radio personality for Island 106 in Panama City Beach.

"I think the response from the locals is they just feel sad because it looks like it's a reflection on them and not the spring breakers," said Fuller. "So people of course are mad because they are making is seem like this is what's happening in Panama City Beach in July when it's only March and that's it."

"I don't know if I can honestly say it's the worst it's ever been," said Bay County Sheriff Frank McKeithen. "But, it's certainly not the best it's ever been."

In her report Tuesday, Ainsley Earhardt rode along with Bay County Sheriff's Office. Law enforcement officers say her report was a fair representation of the chaos.  

"I think that correctly depicts the large majority of the drunken kids that are on Panama City Beach," said McKeithen. "Yes, I do."  

This year the Tourist Development Council will spend $100,000 in advertising to spring breakers through Collegiate Marketing Group. On CMG's Panama City Beach Spring Break web site it shows similar scenes of the Hannity Show report.

"It is not choir practice," said McKeithen. "We don't invite people to Panama City Beach to take swimming lessons.

"There is an agenda and the agenda is to party to the craziest and wildest year since 2013 and if you read any advertisement you see this is what we are -- we are a party."

But, not all restaurants in Panama City Beach market the college crowd to survive. They say, this time of year is actually a slow time.  

"We have a pretty expansive marketing budget," said Chris Pfahl, the Marketing and Event Manager for Fishale in PCB. "But, this is a slow month for us and it's really not a demographic we try to get after."

Pfahl says the Fishale Brewery cater to more of the local crowd who support them twelve months a year.

"Demographics is a big part of it," said Pfahl. "I think for where we are on price point and where we are for the locals it really doesn't fit in to a one week free beer from 7 to midnight kind of crowd."

The TDC will spend another $3.3 million marketing to drive markets in Dothan, Tallahassee, and Birmingham.

Primarily those are the cities that law enforcement say are the main hubs for what they call the "100 Mile Club" -- those that come down specifically to prey on spring breakers.

Sheriff McKeithen also says they have confiscated more guns this year during spring break than ever before.