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Margaritaville to open in Destin

Another big name will be making its debut in Destin soon.
Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville is scheduled to open its doors in a week.

The Margaritaville "empire" includes about 2-dozen restaurants around the world, 4 resorts, including the one on Pensacola beach, there are also 3 casinos, including one in Biloxi.   
   
As Channel Three's Rob Brown reports, some businesses are worried about the competition.

Jimmy Buffett's restaurant here in the Harborwalk is set to open February 17th. Many people are quite excited about the potential that it brings. Others say it might not be so great for local businesses.

Buffett owns stores in vacation spots around the world.
Destin will be added to that list soon.
   
Nathan Rands "It's a place that's a reputable name. If anybody has done any traveling, they've probably seen one or eaten at one."

Its designed to reflect the attitude of Buffett's lighthearted music.
   
Nathan Rands "If you've been to one, it's usually a fun atmosphere. It's kind of lively. It's the type of place that you're going to find other people that are to have fun, enjoy themselves."

It would seem Destin's a perfect fit for a Margaritaville.
But some who work in local businesses aren't entirely sure it's best for the whole community.

Brandon Wilson "Granted, it's Jimmy Buffett, it's the king, that's fine. But I think a lot of people..it's going to draw too many people down there, and they're going to forget about the small businesses."

Brandon Wilson manages the Dockside Bar, near Margaritaville.
He says he won't stop fighting for business.

Brandon Wilson "If they're going to go down there and choose them over us, there's not that much we can do about it. But we're just going to let them know, we're still here. Come on down."

Local businesses, he says, will provide one special thing to customers.

Brandon Wilson "They're going to realize that, hey, there's more intimacy in the smaller businesses, let's go down there."

Well, whether it's positive or negative, everyone we talked to said Margaritaville will definitely have an impact on Destin. Reporting in Okaloosa County, Rob Brown, Channel Three News.

Construction crews have been working since last April on the former Lucky Snapper site on the Harborwalk for the new Margaritaville.
It will feature a restaurant, bar, several shops, and even a booth to charter a fishing boat.