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Florida tourism: Nearly closed visitor center to remain open

July 2, 2019

CAMPBELLTON, Fla. (AP) — A highway visitor center that nearly closed its doors after the Florida Legislature voted to defund the state’s tourism agency has received a lifeline.

The Northwest Florida Tourism Council announced Monday that it has partnered with other regional stakeholders to assume operations of a welcome center located on U.S. 231 near the Alabama state line.

During the past legislative session, Visit Florida, the state’s tourism marketing agency, was at the center of funding battle between both chambers and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. To the governor’s disapproval, lawmakers ultimately agreed to slash the agency’s budget by $26 million. The agency has scaled back operations for the following fiscal year.

The welcome center, which in 2018 received more than 250,000 visitors, was previously scheduled to shut down by the end of June.

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