New hotel rooms, meeting space will boost region as a destination
TAMPA (Dec. 17, 2014) – Visit Tampa Bay President & CEO Santiago Corrada welcomed Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik’s proposal for redeveloping the Channelside area of Tampa Bay. Vinick unveiled the grand plan at a press conference Wednesday.
“We’re incredibly excited about Mr. Vinik’s plans for Channelside and the convention district,” Corrada said. “The addition of new hotel rooms, new meeting space and an entertainment district steps from the Tampa Convention Center will lift Tampa and Hillsborough County even farther into the ranks of world-class destinations. They’ll make Tampa Bay all the more inviting for returning convention-goers and those discovering Tampa Bay for the first time.”
Vinik’s vision includes an overhaul and rebranding for the Channelside Bay Plaza dining and entertainment complex and a new 400-room hotel with 100,000 square feet of meeting space adjacent to the Tampa Convention Center. The new hotel will expand the region’s ability to host multiple events at the same time or large events that have outgrown the current convention center.
Vinik’s proposal comes as Tampa Bay tourism is a string of records in terms of visitors and hotel taxes. The county collected a record $23.7 million in hotel bed taxes in fiscal year 2014. A recent analysis of the summer season by Tallahassee-based Bonn Marketing Research Group shows a nearly 80 percent growth in visitors from the previous summer. Bonn attributes the dramatic increase to a combination of factors, including falling gas prices, expanding hotel-room inventory and a rising economy.
ABOUT VISIT TAMPA BAY
Visit Tampa Bay leads the effort of economic development through tourism. The mission of Visit Tampa Bay is to create vibrant economic growth for the Tampa Bay area by selling and promoting the Tampa Bay destination. The independent not-for-profit organization represents more than 700 businesses throughout the area and works to ignite interest for Visiting Tampa Bay.