My family has been coming to Inlet Beach for 75 years. We own property in Inlet Beach. I am now aware of a proposal for a Dollar General store to be placed at the entrance to Walton County.
For many reasons, allowing this store on the Scenic Corridor would be a mistake.
To obtain access to the large department store, people will be making U-turns on U.S. 98. Because of the configuration of the highway and of the medians, they will also be making illegal u-turns on Highway 98. Because access will be difficult, traffic will also cut through our neighborhoods.
There is a pedestrian/bicycle crosswalk on 98. Because motorists will be concerned about turning around, legally or illegally, the pedestrians/bicyclists will be in danger.
Dollar General stores emit a great deal of light, thereby not being a good choice for a neighborhood store. Dollar Generals typically have large signage in the windows and messy displays outside.
When tourists and homeowners drive through Rosemary Beach, Alys Beach, Seaside, and WaterColor, they get a feel of neighborhood shops and a hometown feel. Dollar General stores give quite another message. There are Dollar General stores approximately two miles in both directions. There is a Super Target and a brand new large Walmart less than 9 miles from Inlet Beach. Publix and Winn-Dixie are within walking distance.
Other businesses will not be enticed to locate on your stretch of Inlet Beach when the success of Rosemary and Alys is eroded with a Dollar General as the anchor store at Inlet Beach.
I do hope this is not the legacy you will leave to Walton County and to the tourists who flock to the Scenic Corridor every year.
Heather Turner Vick