ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Hurricane Michael forced 495 Productions to move from Panama City to St. Pete Beach this week to film the third season of MTV’s hit reality show Floribama Shore, according to Pinellas Film Commissioner Tony Armer.
- "Floribama Shores" is being filmed at St. Pete Beach
- Production had to relocate from Panama City due to Hurricane Michael
- The show is scheduled to wrap up shooting on July 15
“We’ve actually been working with them for a couple of months,” Armer said. “Trying to help them identify a location here in the area.”
Armer said damage from Hurricane Michael made it too expensive to shoot the show in the Panhandle. Instead, the production company rented two large homes on a quiet cul-de-sac off the Intracoastal Waterway in St. Pete Beach.
One home is where the cast lives and is a primary film location. The production crew works out of the second home next door.
The executive in charge of 495 Productions Tiffany Reis told City Commissioners last month that they picked that location because of the privacy.
“(It’s) why we found that to be perfect for our situation, because we don’t want to make too much chaos happen,” Reis said. “It’s in a very specific spot on a private street.”
Reis said she gave her personal cell phone number to all the neighbors in case they had any questions or complaints.
Homeowner Tina Suleiman lives directly across from the “shore house” and said she hasn’t seen any major problems.
“A lot of traffic on a very small block,” Suleiman said. “So we do notice that, but they’ve been pretty respectful so far.”
Floribama Shore features a cast of young adults in their twenties living together in a house, and it shows how their relationships progress over the course of a month.
In past episodes, the alcohol-fueled drama has led to some raunchy behavior, but Reis said don’t expect that in season 3.
“It’s not a spring break sort of situation where they’re just here to tear up the town and leave,” she said. “This is purely like a tradition. This is when they get to actually meet up and share what’s been happening in their lives together.”
Mayor Al Johnson said he’s excited about the economic boost the show’s bringing to St. Pete Beach but doesn’t want it to ruin the city’s family friendly atmosphere.
“I haven’t heard anything bad from my residents, which is good,” he said. “They’ve definitely put a boost into our economy in terms of restaurants and hotel rooms.”
Reis said the production crew will vary from 80 to 120 people and they’re staying at five hotels on the beach.
“We do know that somewhere over $500,000 is being spent on hotel rooms alone,” Armer said. “The overall budget of the show is something around $9 million.”
Armer also said the show will film the cast working jobs at local businesses. The owner of Beach Zone, Ben Luper, said he agreed to let the cast and cameras into his store.
“They didn’t give me any schedule yet. So, I don’t know when they’re going to come,” said Luper. “They’re going to let me know but we’re all excited. All the employees are excited, and I think it’s going to bring good business to the beach.”
Armer believes the national exposure St. Pete Beach will get when the show airs sometime this fall is good advertising for the area.
“I think it’ll have a positive impact on tourism,” he said. “I don’t think it will have any negative effect whatsoever.”
Suleiman said she has already seen some exciting action, but her lips are sealed.
“I’ve seen some things. I’m not going to tell,” she said. “I can’t do any spoiler alerts about what I’ve seen.”
Floribama Shore will film all over Pinellas County for the next few weeks. The show is scheduled to wrap up shooting on July 15.