New Walton County Discovery Center plans shown to the public

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SANTA ROSA BEACH, Fla. — The Walton County Visitor’s Center is getting a reboot; plans were shown to the public for the first time on Thursday morning. 

“The new building is really exciting,” said Jay Tusa, the Executive Director for the Walton County Tourist Development Council. “We’ve been in our current location for over 30 years and that building and site has served us well. There are challenges now getting in and out of that site.”

The new location is about a mile north of the current visitor’s center on US 331. 

“We’re kind of departing a little bit from the traditional visitor’s center,” said Tusa. “So it’s all the amenities, learning about the state forests, the state parks, the coastal dune lakes, our culinary scene, our arts, all of that will be highlighted in this discovery center.”

This space is designed to give visitors and residents a better idea of everything Walton County has to offer, plus, open spaces for events, bands, business meetings and more. 

“As a startup business, we will definitely use this center for meeting space because we have a small office,” said Alan Roberts, a Walton County resident and business owner. 

The plans are now headed to the Walton County TDC for approval and then to the Walton County commission for a final vote in the next month. The new site is funded through the TDC bed-tax. 

If passed, the Discovery Center will be up and running within a couple of years. 

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