Earl grazes Panhandle, sparing hotels, roads

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla.--Florida Panhandle officials, with the help of Visit Florida, frantically were trying to salvage Labor Day bookings by getting the word out that Hurricane Earl's damage was minimal and that most hotels and all major roads were open.

The 96-room Super 8 Motel here cut rates from $89 to $39 per night for guests willing to wade through deep puddles.

The 180-unit Days Inn & Suites, Fort Walton Beach, "lost a ton of reservations," Linda Page, director of sales, noted, and she was calling as many people as she could to tell them the property came through "in great shape."

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