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Fort Walton Beach "The Treasure of the Emerald Coast"
FORT WALTON BEACH -- FORT WALTON BEACH - "Branding" is a buzzword that seems to come up a lot. As part of a re-branding push, the city of Fort Walton Beach has a new motto.
Laura Hussey says, "City Councils have to make a lot of important decisions. How much are your taxes going to be, how much money is going to the police force. Choosing a city motto might not seem to fall into that category. Then again, these days image is everything"
"America's Most Beautiful Beaches" was the Fort Walton Beach motto for years.
Mr. Fuqua of Fort Walton Beach says, "That's true, they have got some beautiful beaches"
As part of a larger plan to brand the entire Emerald Coast, cities were asked to come up with slogans describing their unique appeal. Fort Walton Beach chose "The Treasure of the Emerald Coast"
Chamber of Commerce director Ted Corcoran says, "The treasure of course goes back to the history of the pirates..."
Corcoran says it's a nod to pirate fun, especially the annual Billy Bowlegs festival, one of the largest pirate festivals in the Southeast. But there's a double meaning.
Corcoran says, "But the other side, the hidden treasure, the true underlying meaning of what Fort Walton Beach is, the beaches, the people, the military, a lot of things people did not know about"
Stephanie Sabin moved here six months ago. She's OK with the new slogan.
Sabin says, "I mean, they both fit the area pretty well"
Others aren't too happy about "treasure" replacing "beaches".
A Fort Walton Beach resident named Sylvia says "You've got to keep it with the beaches, because everybody relates Fort Walton beach with beaches"
The change won't cost anything off the bat. Ultimately some old signs will be replaced - this one still says "The Camellia City". And in the history of mottos, "The Treasure of the Emerald Coast" has got to beat another old slogan......"Home of the Sonic Boom".
Sylvia "Really? (laughs) I'm sorry."
Laura Hussey "Every city in South Okaloosa County is developing its own tagline. Of course we'll let you know what they decide."