Walton County beach vendors creating a solution to "ghost chairs"

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WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - On crowded beach days, many people don't want an empty chair blocking Gulf front views. So beach vendors, are changing the game.

“When you look down here [beach], you don’t see any empty seats from vendors," said Chairman of the South Walton Beach Service Association, Philip Poundstone.

Because now, beach vendors created the South Walton Beach Service Association.

“What we really do, is the guest comes down to see our attendant here, and the attendant sets the chair out for them and the second they leave, we bring it up and put it back at the toe of the dune," said Poundstone.

The hope is to resolve problems for locals and tourists wanting to spend the day at the beach.

“We solve a lot of issues without having ghost chairs as well as we have an attendant on sight at all times," said Poundstone.

For visitors, this service is a great benefit.

“Got us a couple of chairs and a table and a nice umbrella cause we’re too lazy to bring our own and it was a great experience," said Tourist Rhonda Patterson.

Visit South Walton officials believe this program will take off around the county.

“We’re rolling it out this year at Ed Walline and also at Inlet Beach and the commissioners just voted last night to go ahead and roll it out at Grayton Beach, too. That’s because it’s already quite a success," said Visit South Walton's Communications Director, David Demarest.

Fulfilling the vendors' intentions.

“The entire goal is next year, 2020, every single public beach access, we will have an attendant doing this exact program," said Poundstone.

With the hopes this is the best solution for all involved.