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Walton County TDC Expands Managed Vendor Program

Santa Rosa Beach, FL – February 10, 2020 - During the January 14th Walton County BCC Meeting, commissioners voted to expand the 2020 Managed Vendor Program to all regional beach access (RBA) points in South Walton, starting March 1, 2020. Locations for the program include: Dune Allen, Ed Walline, Gulfview Heights, Blue Mountain, Van Ness Butler, Santa Clara and Inlet Beach RBAs, and Grayton Beach public beach access. In 2019, a pilot program proved to be successful at three locations: Ed Walline RBA, Inlet Beach RBA and Grayton Beach public access.

The managed vendor program, overseen by the South Walton Beach Service Association and the Walton County TDC, was created with the goal to reduce the number of “ghost sets,” or empty beach chairs, at public beach areas and provide a better experience for all beach goers.

“The Managed Vendor Program was implemented to help minimize congestion,” said Brian Kellenberger, director of beach operations for the Walton County TDC. “We expect continued success with the program and look forward to strengthening and supporting our vendors throughout South Walton in the 2020 season.”

The decision to expand the program was based off feedback provided during public workshops from community members, vendor partners and Walton County staff. Continued expansion of the program into neighborhood beach accesses will be considered in the future.

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About the Managed Vendor Program
So how does this new program work? Beach Vendors all have equal opportunity to participate in the managed vendor program. They have to be a permitted vendor in Walton County; sign the Association’s Agreement; drop off/pick up equipment as needed or store their equipment in the association’s storage boxes on the beach; are not allowed to set up/tear down equipment on their own; and pay a fee based on how many beach sets rented out.

A beach attendant, who is on site daily, works directly with guests to set up their beach equipment, whether it be chairs, an umbrella or watersports equipment. When the guest is finished with their equipment, the attendant removes the equipment from the beach. This will alleviate the issue of "ghost sets" or empty chairs on the beach. The program regulates Walton County beach vendors for beach chairs/umbrellas and watersports equipment (such as kayaks, paddleboards etc.). The program does not regulate or have any association to Special Event Permits/vendors, (including photographers, officiants), sand castle lesson vendors, bonfire vendors or the like.

Locations for the program include: Dune Allen, Ed Walline, Gulfview Heights, Blue Mountain, Van Ness Butler, Santa Clara, Inlet Beach and Grayton Beach.

For more information about the program, contact Phillip Poundstone at info@swbsa.org or call (850) 832-8715.