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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Tampa Convention Center vendor says city favors its competitor



A longtime vendor for the Tampa Convention Center claims city officials are giving a competitor the edge it needs to win a local contract worth more than $300,000 a year.

The issue pits Five-Star Audiovisual Management, headquartered in Aurora, Ill., west of Chicago, against Tampa-based AVI-SPL.

At stake is a prized position as the in-house provider of audiovisual services at the city's 600,000-square-foot waterfront convention center. Five-Star has had the contract since 1996. In exchange, it gives the city a cut of its gross sales at the convention center. From 2009 to 2011, those sales averaged about $515,000 a year. Of that, on average the city got $206,000 and Five-Star kept $309,000.

Now city officials are moving to award the contract to AVI, perhaps as soon as April 4, and Five-Star is crying foul. Full story here.

[Last modified: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 12:17pm]


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