Ask Destinites: Locals Only Please

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By Patricia Lee

Over the past few months I have seen several random comments from members in our Facebook Destinites locals’ group regarding wanting more things around the area for locals only. Our Destinites group has over 5000 members with only about 10% part time residents or out of state property owners. So, the group is at least one thing this community has that is just for them. Locals also do enjoy discounts from restaurants, entertainment or activities and it is appreciated. However, many of those discounts are only seasonal and locals strongly feel discounts for them should be provided all year round. I do hear many of our Destinites members say they make it a point to do business with those who provide the year-round discounts. Sorry, but please don’t shoot the messenger. There are many locals who pay attention to this type of thing and it affects their patronage decisions.

A new local’s only idea:
Destinites tell me they would like to have a locals’ only club—a place where they can gather for swimming and other physical activities, but also areas for card games or pool tables; a place that would offer drinks, light snacks and maybe some live music, too. The idea feels to me like an extension of what I was trying to do when I started the Destinites Facebook group which is to bring locals together better—a place of unity, if you will. I realize this would be a costly endeavor, but it would certainly be supported by resident locals. “If you build it, they will come!”

I have also seen a Destinites member suggest there should be a restaurant that is just for locals. I guess this also would have to be some type of club since it wouldn’t be open to the public. Maybe it could be a joint venture with the local’s club mentioned above, but it could also work well on its own, as a private club restaurant.

Clearly, locals are wanting more ways to come together, more ways to feel unified and separate from the visitors; especially during tourist season. Now what wonderful entrepreneurs are going to take these ideas and run with them? We’re waiting!

If you are a local and not yet part of our Destinites Facebook group, I invite you to join us. Our members are from Destin and close surrounding areas.

By Patricia Lee, Owner – www.Destinites.com – Destinites, Inc.
Creator – www.Facebook.com/groups/Destinites