Reinventing the wheel: Becnel, homeowners disagree on Ferris wheel

Published: Monday, August 5, 2013 at 10:51 AM.

Becnel said the Ferris wheel itself is not what's important, but the fact that the county will not allow the system to work.

"They knew what we were doing, but at the eleventh hour, they came up with new restrictions," he said. "We just want to be treated fairly.”

Through future developments, including the Ferris wheel, Sandestin is looking to add approximately 800 jobs to the area. However, the county is holding up quality work for people, Becnel says. Future developments include 77 condominium units, a new arrival center and an expansion of the marina. Becnel has also floated the ideas of building a church and before that a casino. Both plans drew ire from homeowners.

But Becnel believes time is not necessarily on the resort’s side.

"If we don't continue to reinvent Sandestin, it will not continue to be the premium destination it is today," he said.

Becnel understands his role to please the 4,000 residents and owners at Sandestin Resort. He told The Sun he had been through a number of outreach efforts to show an attempt of cooperation with the county and homeowners.

"I've never refused to meet with anyone," he said.

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