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.