Fate of helicopter tourism up in the air: Beach Helicopter parcel for sale

Matt Algarin
The site of the proposed Beach Helicopter sightseeing tours has been quiet as of late. The parcel is now for sale and county officials are unsure what the future holds.

A "For Sale" sign has been placed on the parcel of land that was poised to be the home of Beach Helicopters sightseeing operation in Destin.

Work on the parcel of land that is situated between the Longhorn Steakhouse and BankTrust Bank on U.S. Highway 98 seems to have stopped for the past few months.

Beach Helicopter had planned to construct a 6,000-square-foot helipad on the property and offer sightseeing tours along the Emerald Coast in time for 2013 spring break.

Local Realtor Denise Fountain, who has the property listed, confirmed that the property was for sale and said that it's currently owned by Wells Fargo Bank NA. Beach Helicopter had only leased the land from the previous owner.

Elliot Kampert from Okaloosa County Growth Management Department told The Log that he was aware the property was for sale, but he wasn't sure about the current status of Beach Helicopter.

"They had gotten a DO (development order) and had done some work then it stopped," he said. "The development order is still active."

"We've received no word one way or the other," Kampert added.

When contacted for comment, Beach Helicopter owner Kimberly Langford twice told The Log she was unable to talk at the moment, but would return the call later. As of press time, she didn’t return a third call, which went to voice mail.

Local attorney Scott Work, who represented Beach Helicopter, also did not return a call for comment.

Beach Helicopter has seen its fair share of controversy since they first applied for a development order through the county. Residents in the nearby Kelly Plantation subdivision had petitioned the project, telling both city and county officials that the operation was "unsafe."

Although the company was issued a development order, another sightseeing operation in Destin, Timberview Helicopters, was denied a development order. The company had originally flown out of the parking lot of Destin Commons, but issues with permits and such ultimately led the company to fly out of the Destin Airport.


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