Welcome to the Meeting and Event Planning Guide to Panama City Beach, a city guide for meeting professionals. A venerable beach destination for Georgians and Alabamans, Panama City Beach has evolved in recent years to appeal to a wider ranger of visitors thanks to a dynamic growth spurt. Panama City Beach event venues feature more luxury properties and area amenities include a new airport.
In fact, air access to the Panama City Beach area increased greatly with the 2010 opening of the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP), which is situated in West Bay about a 10-minute drive from Panama City Beach. Served by Southwest Airlines and Delta Airlines, the airport occupies more than 40,000 acres along St. Andrews Bay. Among the destinations with daily flights are Atlanta, Baltimore, Houston, Nashville and St. Louis.
For logistical purposes, the region is divided into two distinct areas: Panama City Beach, which has 27 miles of white-sand beaches and several meetings-oriented hotels, and downtown Panama City, where the marina, Marina Civic Center and several popular restaurants are located. Panama City Beach offers 320 days of sunshine per year, world-class sport fishing and diving, championship golf and excellent shopping, as well as dining and entertainment opportunities.
Popular Panama City event venues include the Marina Civic Center in downtown, which has a 2,508-seat theater and three 980-square-foot meeting rooms; and the 10,000 square-foot Bay Banquet Hall.
Hotel venues in Panama City Beach include the 376-unit Bay Point Wyndham Golf Resort & Spa, the 319-room Boardwalk Beach Resort & Convention Center and the 525-suite Edgewater Beach Resort.
Groups gravitate to Pier Park on Panama City Beach for shopping, dining and entertainment. The one-million-square-foot, open-air complex directly across the street from the sandy beaches features anchor stores like Dillard's, JC Penney, and Target, specialty stores like Ann Taylor LOFT, New York & Co., Hollister Co. and Chico's, as well as a 16-screen movie theater. Popular Pier Park restaurants that can accommodate large groups include Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville, Guy Harvey's Island Grill, Hofbrau Beer Garden, Pompano Joe’s and Back Porch Seafood and Oyster Bar. The new Aaron Bessant Park Amphitheater next to Pier Park regularly brings in big-name musical entertainment, and hosts weekly free concerts during the summer season.
For those who like to tee up between meetings, top options include Shark's Tooth, a Greg Norman design; Camp Creek, a Tom Fazio design; the Nicholas Course at Bay Point, a Nicholas Design course, the Meadows Course at Bay Point, and The Hombre, which has hosted Nationwide Tour events and which hosts the second stage of the PGA’s Q-School annually.