BP Money Buys Sports Towels, Christmas Lights, Jingles

By: Mike Schneider and Melissa Nelson, Associated Press
By: Mike Schneider and Melissa Nelson, Associated Press

Panama City Beach, FL (AP) - Officials in the Florida Panhandle have spent tens of millions of dollars of BP's money on a mix of eye-raising purchases that were meant to help restore the area's tourism industry a year after the Gulf oil spill.

An Associated Press review of expenses shows Florida Panhandle tourism bureaus bought sports towels, fleece blankets, fishing and poker tournaments, music festivals, contests and millions of dollars in advertising with $30 million in BP PLC grants.

The promotions and advertising propelled the Panhandle's visitor counts to record numbers this year following a disastrous season last year after the oil spill.

But tourism officials are unsure if the boost will last once the BP money runs out in April.


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  • by Annette Location: Tallahassee on Jan 1, 2012 at 02:04 AM
    It would have been nice if people whose livelyhood was damaged by the oil spill could have benefitted also. They could have paid for hotel and restaurant discounts, prizes for deep sea fishing expeditions, discount boat rentals, attraction tickets, prizes. People who win these kinds of trips and get these discounts come down and spend money and frequently bring others with them.
  • by Gman Location: Tally on Dec 30, 2011 at 05:12 AM
    IF anyone was REALLY interested in increasing tourism, they would have given GAS VOUCHERS at BP Stations for say $75.00 bucks for each night spent at the beach and $50.00 for each time you frequented a nice restaurant! I WOULD HAVE GONE!!!
    • reply
      by jw on Dec 30, 2011 at 10:27 AM in reply to Gman
      Amen
  • by Anonymous on Dec 29, 2011 at 06:34 PM
    So what this story really says is that the money was spent to increase tourism(like it was meant), and it worked.
  • by Glenn Location: Tallahassee on Dec 29, 2011 at 04:31 PM
    What a nice story, but hey, how 'bout repairing the Louisiana marshes, wetlands, and paying attention to the oil on the sea bed??? Isn't that where the oil was?
    • reply
      by Steve Florida native/resident on Dec 31, 2011 at 02:09 PM in reply to Glenn
      That's affirmative, Glenn. The crude is lighter than seawater, but when those molecules are satturated they fall to the bottom, that action forms the 'tar balls'. In another item to "tammy" Kevin Costner invented that thing and tried to get them to use it. He spent his own money on the thing...It's like an RO unit on steroids. The sad part about our energy policy is these permits are being granted, but these folks are STILL required to drill in deep water(a mile deep). This will mean that when another accident such as this one comes along, nobody will know squatt until they send down another R.O.V. and that will take weeks. By the way, Mr. Costner brought his tech. shipped it and offered it for free.
  • by tammy on Dec 29, 2011 at 04:09 PM
    BP needs to invent an underwater vacuum to suck up the miles of oil on the Gulf floor before they can call it "clean."
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Dec 30, 2011 at 11:48 AM in reply to tammy
      Why don't you invent it, and sell it to BP.
  • by the oil compays are reaping the bennifits Location: usa on Dec 29, 2011 at 02:27 PM
    maby is bp really cared about tourist they would lower gad to $100 a gallon. a person liveing a thousand miles away will spend 5 times atleast in gas to get there as they will spend when they get there. i wasat p.c. beach alot this summer and it looked like a ghost town. almost all the rooms in the condows were empty. the cops were patrolling the beaches at night looking for buglars.
    • reply
      by annonomous on Dec 29, 2011 at 05:17 PM in reply to the oil compays are reaping the bennifits
      Huh? Did you even go to school? If so, why didn't you learn to spell and form a correct sentence? One's point is lost when the reader has to decipher the spelling and punctuation, as well as the grammar. This is sad.
      • reply
        by terri on Dec 30, 2011 at 10:32 AM in reply to annonomous
        everyone should be as smart as you.ANONYMOUT IF YOU ARE GOING TO DOWN SOMEONE AND MAKE THEM FEEL LOWER THAN YOU ATLEAST LEAVE YOUR REAL FULL NAME. ADDRESS TOOOOOO.
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Dec 30, 2011 at 11:50 AM in reply to terri
          Where's your full name and address?
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