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Joe Henderson: Polluted water in St. Pete leaves little room for mistake

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

We love the water around here. We boat on it, haul fish from it, swim in it, and build houses that provide spectacular views of it. Water is such a big deal around here that many people identify us not by the actual places where we live, but by the catchall name of Tampa Bay. So while having local waterways polluted with millions of gallons of untreated sewage would be a major story anywhere, it is a catastrophe here. And…

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The Might of Mickey: Orlando still top U.S. destination

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

It’s a crowded world after all – at least in Orlando’s hotels and theme parks. Tourism officials announced Monday that the number of visitors coming to Orlando last year jumped 5.5 percent to more than 66 million visitors. That figure sets a record for tourists in Orlando and helps the central Florida city hang onto its bragging rights as the top tourist destination in the United States for the second year in a row. The head of Orlando’s tourist marketing…

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5 things to look for in Bob Buckhorn’s State of Tampa address

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Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn is scheduled to give his State of the City this morning. Here are some things to look for in his speech. Transportation – In his 2014 speech, Buckhorn called for a funding referendum to support expanded bus service and light rail in Tampa, saying that the goal should be a referendum in the fall of 2016. With Hillsborough County Commissioners scheduled to vote on whether to do that later this month, undoubtedly the mayor will encourage not only…

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St. Pete lands global LGBT tourism convention

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St. Pete was chosen to host the 2017 International Lesbian Travel Association”s Annual Global Convention. It’s the first time St. Pete has been selected to host the annual event. The convention will be at the Reaissance Vinoy in downtown St. Pete May 3-6, 2017. “Not only does St. Pete have a charming downtown and incredible beaches, it also boasts major attractions like the Dali Museum and has been actively engaged in the LGBT market,” said IGLTA Board Chair Dan Melesurgo.…

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Board approves plan for world’s tallest coaster in Orlando

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Orlando’s hope of having the world’s tallest roller coaster is one step closer to becoming reality. Orange County’s board of commissioners granted zoning approval Tuesday night for the $500 million Skyplex Orlando project. The unanimous vote means that developer Joshua Wallack and his family can go forward with plans to build the 570-foot “Skyscraper” coaster and surrounding entertainment complex on Orlando’s International Drive. Several dozen people spoke about the plan at Tuesday’s standing room-only public hearing. The support included residents…

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New St. Pete Store open for business in downtown

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

The newly renovated Visitors Center complete with a brand new St. Pete Store are now open for business in downtown St. Pete. The Center and Store directly across the street from Sundial offers St. Pete-centric gifts and trinkets created by local artists and vendors. “The St. Pete Store houses some of the cool products that are made in the shade here in St. Pete,” said St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce President Chris Steinocher. “We are excited to partner with the…

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Pinellas tourism officials to launch national ad campaign

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

St. Pete and Clearwater are going national. Pinellas County is planning its first ever national ad campaign to promote the two areas as pristine tourism locations. According to the Tampa Bay Times, the county’s tourism agency, Visit St. Pete-Clearwater, is planning on purchasing ads on Pandora as well as underwriting from various National Public Radio programs. There will also be enticing photos of sun and sand from the region’s Gulf beaches to draw in visitors from frigid cities to the…

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