Northwest Florida counties working together to keep state visitor center open

Local News

Pictured from left: Christy Andreasen, Jackson County TDC Director; Commissioner Clint Pate; Dan Rowe, Bay County TDC Executive Director; and David Dodd, Visit Florida Vice President.

JACKSON COUNTY, Fla. — The Jackson County Board of County Commissioners (JCBOCC) and Bay County Tourist Development Council (TDC) say they’re working together to keep a state Welcome Center open for business.

Due to a cut in legislative funding for Visit Florida, the center located on Highway 231 was slated to close on June 30, 2019. 

Jackson County Tourist Development Council’s Director, Christy Andreasen said Friday that closing the center would result in job loss for multiple Jackson County residents, currently employed at the center.

On Friday morning, officials from all groups met to discuss how the JCBOCC could assist in keeping the center open.

President of the Bay County TDC, Dan Rowe, asked the board to assist in keeping the center open by on-boarding the six employees who staff the center to the JCBOCC payroll for up to ninety days or until an employee leasing company can take over the payroll function for the staff. 

Rowe is also a board member for the Northwest Florida Tourism Council, which is heading up the efforts to keep the center open and operational.

The council will reimburse the County for all costs related to salary, insurance, and benefits for the employees as well as provide a 10% administrative fee to the County.

The board voted to approve the request. 

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