Walton County Commissioners have voted to welcome visitors to our county in a different way.
Welcome signs currently in place focus on South Walton with "Welcome to Walton County, home to South Walton Beaches" written on them
While Walton County's tourists do tend to head straight for the sugar-white sands of the beach, which results in generating the most revenue, some who live in north Walton took offense at being left out.
Since March, fifth-generation north Walton resident Stephen McBroom has been on a mission to see if he could get the signs changed to reflect the county as a whole. At a recent BCC meeting, commissioners voted to give McBroom his wish.
Tourist Development Council Director Jay Tusa presented to commissioners three variations to consider for new welcome signs.
The first was tan, depicting trees, farmland, and water at the top with "Welcome to Walton County est. 1824."
The second was white with a tagline of "Where the highlands meet the Gulf," and also incorporated the words "historic" and est. 1824.
The third was black with white lettering and a tagline of "Gateway to Paradise, est. 1824." The tagline "Gateway to Paradise" was from a postcard in the early 1980s.
Commissioners voted for the first option with black lettering in an effort to keep it simple and so that it is easier to be read by passing cars.
The present signs will be covered with an overlay, which will be totally reflective for those entering the county at night.
Although McBroom expressed happiness with the change, he said that most people he polled preferred the second option.
McBroom had presented the tagline "Welcome to Historic Walton County, est. 1824."
The cost for the change is expected to be $22,000 and the money will come from either TDC or public works funds.