The Dolly Parton-affiliated World Choice Investments already owns the land for a potential project in Destin, but that doesn't necessarily mean a dinner theater is coming to the Emerald Coast.
"We are currently evaluating the Destin market and, as well as, other family destination markets," Pete Owens, public relations director for the Dollywood Companies, wrote in an email to The Log. "No specific timeline has been set."
Since purchasing four parcels of land along Commons Drive and U.S. Hwy. 98 near Walmart and the Destin Family YMCA in December of 2012, there has been plenty of speculation about a Parton-backed project dropping anchor in Destin.
The Dollywood Company operates the Dixie Stampede and Pirate's Voyage dinner theaters in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Branson, Mo.
Destin Development on the rise:
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While no official word has been given, or development orders applied for, demolition permits have been issued to the Pigeon Forge, Tenn.-based World Choice Investments.
A used car dealership, which was located at the corner of Henderson Beach Road and Commons Drive, has been completely removed, and a former landscaping business along Henderson Beach Road is currently being dismantled and carried away. A demolition permit was also issued for the parcel of land that is home to the First National Bank, which fronts Hwy. 98.
When The Log asked Owens about the evaluation process and "why Destin would be an attractive market," he replied "Destin and the Emerald Coast is a great family area." He reiterated that the company was weighing its options for future expansion and that "no timeline" has been set.