Downtown Tampa has already gone through
dramatic changes during the past few years,
partly in preparation for the 2012 Republican
National Convention and partly because the
southwestern Florida city is coming into its
own. But even more changes and development are on the horizon. This year, new restaurants, hotels, and a bike-sharing program
will continue to revamp Tampa’s downtown.
The recently opened culinary-focused Epicurean hotel is part of Marriott’s Autograph
Collection, with 137 guest rooms, the in-house
Chocolate Pi patisserie, Élevage restaurant,
and Edge Social Drinkery rooftop bar. A spa,
a theater built for cooking classes, and more
than 5,200 square feet of indoor and outdoor
function space round out the amenities.
A new, Native American–influenced eatery and brewery, Ulele, is poised to open, and
Coast Bike Sharing will bring 300 bikes to its
rental hubs downtown and in Hyde Park, Ybor
City, and Davis Island. Busch Gardens Tampa
will also unveil its newest ride — Falcon’s Fury,
part of the park’s newest land, Pantopia.
The waterfront Tampa Convention Center borders some of downtown’s biggest
attractions and is punctuated by expansive
windows that wash its spacious halls in
sunlight. Its 600,000 square feet of space
breaks down to include a 200,000-square-
foot exhibit hall, 36 meeting rooms, and a
36,000-square-foot ballroom that divides
into four sections. In addition, the neighboring Tampa Riverwalk offers 146,000 square
feet of space for events, a rotunda has close
to 8,000 square feet, and the Sail Pavilion
offers waterfront views and space for outdoor receptions of up to 500 guests.
For more information: Visit Tampa Bay —
Adam DePiro, Director of Convention Sales;
(813) 342-4061; Visit TampaBay.com
New experiences attendees will treasure
High marks Tampa ranks as the 19th best place in the country to live, work, and play, according to
Livability.com’s survey of the “Top 100 most Livable cities in america.” Tampa also ranked second
when compared with other Florida cities, and tied with the top score for its amenities.
Keeping up The Tampa convention center has hosted everyone from the Shriners to the
republican National convention, and as a result is continually finding new ways to stay competitive.
In 2013, the facility earned approval from Energy Star as a partner and was ranked in the 84th
percentile of efficiency in comparison with similar buildings.