Commissioners choose pier shortlist

County commissioners selected the shortlist of candidates to run and remodel the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier Thursday during their regular meeting.

The county started seeking a new operator to “build up” the pier several months ago in preparation for the end of the current operators contract. The commissioners indicated they would like to see a long term investment, and 11 candidates threw their hats into the ring in August.

The shortlist of candidates, decided by a paper vote from the commissioners, included:

  • Johnny Huston’s Grille and Bar
  • Restaurant owner Bobby Benaquis and Kenny Cook
  • Growing Santa Rosa Enterprises, consisting of Jessika Schelfhout, Jerry Rollison, Larry Rollison, Ken Fountain and Jonathan Cole
  • Navarre Beach Pier LLC, consisting of  Chuck Pohlmann, Steve Hering, Claude Duvall and A.P. Attalla

The current pier operator is not among the short list.

Each of the applicants in the short list will make a 15 minute presentation to the Board of County Commissioners in October with a 20 minute question and answer session to follow.

In their presentations each of the groups will be asked to include what they intend to do to improve the pier’s operations as well as financial specifics.

Commissioners will then vote to select the final pier operator and set the terms of a new extended lease. Currently the shortlist applicants are asking for leases ranging from 6 to 25 years.

For more on this story pick up the Sept. 21 edition of the Navarre Press or subscribe.

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