Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Business

Business news: Vinoy resort GM takes job in Arizona; Sweet Spot replaces Cold Stone on Fourth St. N

ST. PETERSBURG

Vinoy GM is moving to another marriott property in Arizona

After 14 years as general manager for the Renaissance Vinoy Resort, Russ Bond is leaving before the end of the year to take the helm of the JW Marriott resort in Tucson, Ariz.

The move to the 576-room property with 27 holes of golf is a step up in the Marriott chain, which also owns the Vinoy.

"It has been a great ride but this is a great opportunity," Bond said.

He came to the 361-room Vinoy in 2000, eight years after it reopened. The only restaurants within walking distance were Moon Under Water and the now-defunct Dysfunctional Family Restaurant, both on Beach Drive NE.

"There's no question the area has changed dramatically. Now we have something to sell other than just the Vinoy," Bond said. The hotel has set sales records for the past three years, he added.

The job he vacates was officially posted days ago. Bond expects many applicants and that a new manager will be selected by the end of January.

ST. PETERSBURG

Independent Sweet Spot replaces Cold Stone Creamery on Fourth St.

A national ice cream chain, Cold Stone Creamery, has closed on Fourth Street N, but an independent entrepreneur thinks he can do better in the location next to Carrabba's, Sunken Gardens and Great Explorations.

"I hope this will be a story of a local resident providing a lot more to the community than a franchise was able to," said Chad Boyd, who is opening the Sweet Spot in the former Cold Stone at 1961 Fourth St. N.

The business will be a coffee shop, breakfast spot and sweet shop all in one. He will offer waffles, breakfast pastries, homemade ice cream, Hawaiian shaved ice, smoothies and espresso.

"We are offering event services of shaved ice carts for parties and candy bar displays for weddings and parties," Boyd added.

Katherine Snow Smith, Times staff writer

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