NEWS

G.I. Joe is a go! Proposed amusement park moving forward

Savannah Vasquez
svasquez@thedestinlog.com
Joe Bruner shown here beside his military-themed amusement park teasers last fall.

Proposed Destin amusement park G.I. Joe’s is back on track for construction. Owner Joe Bruner said he is moving forward with plans to put a temporary road on his property in order to begin the building process.

“We’re starting to press ahead now with the project,” Bruner said. “We feel like the best use for the land and for Destin is an amusement theme park, so we are now pressing ahead with the plan.”

Bruner said it has taken seven months to get state and city approval for his Tier 1 development, but he is now ready to take the first step in making his amusement park a reality.

“It’s been an amazing response from business people downtown especially around the harbor,” Bruner said. “I’ve had an overwhelming amount of encouragement and support from local businesses to go ahead with it.”

Bruner’s plans for a military-themed amusement park have been widely scrutinized since he first put up teaser signs last fall. At one point he said he almost gave up the idea, but now he has a new drive to embark on the project.

“Destin needs that for day and night time activities to bring people from the South Walton area back into Destin,” he said of the park. “In downtown Destin things are kind of skipped over from Big Kahuna’s to the bridge so we need something to bring people back to the heart of Destin.”

Bruner said that although he is still open to leasing the property to interested amusement park developers, he will build the temporary road necessary for construction to move forward.

“We have contractors working on it so that’s where we are,” he said. “We are building the infrastructure to get in and out of the property.”