Make us your home page
Instagram

Pasco businesses look for a Super Bowl bonus

Recession or not, this weekend's big game should mean big gains for Tampa business owners.

But will the Super Bowl XLIII wealth creep north of the Hillsborough County line? It depends on whom you ask.

Big name Pasco County resorts like Saddlebrook and Caliente are expected to fill up, while the chain hotels along Interstate 75, — they anticipated their close proximity to the Shops at Wiregrass and the Grove at Wesley Chapel would mean a full house — are hoping for a surge of last-minute reservations.

"We were very excited," said Nootan Patel, manager and owner of the Comfort Inn near the Grove. "But there's nothing to be seen yet."

The hotel took out ads especially for the Super Bowl and even offered guests complimentary shuttle rides from Wesley Chapel to Ybor City.

But it's looking at only 30 percent occupancy this weekend. The average for this time of year is usually closer to 90 percent, Patel said.

The shuttles were axed.

"Maybe people thought we were too far from the stadium," Patel said.

Her neighbors at the Sleep Inn are seeing better numbers. The hotel was about 60 percent booked earlier this week. About half of those bookings came in last weekend.

Across the county, the year-old Residence Inn Northpointe, next to the Suncoast Parkway, is "just shy" of being completely sold out, said Lorraine Fernandez, director of sales.

The Super Bowl's last visit to Tampa was in 2001. That January brought in slightly higher than average tourist tax revenue for the county, but the following month was the second highest February on record since the county started collecting such data in 1991, said Eric Keaton, Pasco's public communication officer.

"I don't think we can directly say that was related to the Super Bowl," Keaton said. "The worst you can say is it's a pretty good coincidence."

The county will not receive numbers on the economic impact of this year's Super Bowl until late March, but some people are already making predictions.

Better bottom lines

Greg Lenners, manager at Wiregrass, thinks football revelers will boost mall revenue by about 10 percent, though the lines will be much shorter Sunday evening.

"We are realistic that everyone is going to rush home to their TVs at 5 o'clock," Lenners said.

Organizers at Caliente, a clothing optional resort in Land O'Lakes, predict they will see a 50 to 75 percent increase in income this weekend thanks to a host of parties and celebrity appearances.

The pierced and cross-dressing Dennis Rodman is scheduled to stop by. So is Robert Burck, better known as the Naked Cowboy, a skivvy clad guitarist who serenades crowds in New York City. Former Buccaneer Chidi Ahanotu will also make an appearance.

Rumors fly that Janet Jackson will party it up in Tampa this weekend, but Caliente may be more her speed.

"If you have a wardrobe malfunction (here,) it's not a problem," said Angye Fox, Caliente spokesperson.

The clothing optional resort was to be the site of the Lingerie Bowl, a full contact football game played by barely dressed women, but that was nixed earlier this week.

A Lingerie Football League spokesperson told the Times that holding and broadcasting the game in the nude or around nude people was not what the players or league had in mind.

Helen Anne Travis can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 435-7312.

Fast Facts

Guest appearances for Super Bowl

These celebrities are expected at Caliente:

• Former Buccaneer Chidi Ahanotu

• Robert Burck (the Naked Cowboy)

• Dennis Rodman

Pasco businesses look for a Super Bowl bonus 01/29/09 [Last modified: Thursday, January 29, 2009 9:11pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Carrollwood fitness center employs scientific protocol to help clients

    Business

    In 2005, Al Roach and Virginia Phillips, husband and wife, opened 20 Minutes to Fitness in Lakewood Ranch, and last month they opened the doors to their new location in Carrollwood.

    Preston Fisher, a personal fitness coach at 20 Minutes To Fitness, stands with an iPad while general manager/owner Angela Begin conducts an equipment demonstration. The iPad is used to track each client's information and progress. I also included one shot of just the equipment. The center recently opened in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser.
  2. Olive Tree branches out to Wesley Chapel

    Business

    WESLEY CHAPEL — When it came time to open a second location of The Olive Tree, owners John and Donna Woelfel, decided that Wesley Chapel was the perfect place.

    The Olive Tree expands its offerings of "ultra premium?€ extra virgin olive oils (EVOO) to a second location in Wesley Chapel. Photo by Danielle Hauser.
  3. Massachusetts firm buys Tampa's Element apartment tower

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — Downtown Tampa's Element apartment tower sold this week to a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company that plans to upgrade the skyscraper's amenities and operate it long-term as a rental community.

    The Element apartment high-rise at 808 N Franklin St. in downtown Tampa has been sold to a Northland Investment Corp., a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company. JIM DAMASKE  |  Times
  4. New York town approves Legoland proposal

    News

    GOSHEN, N.Y. — New York is one step closer to a Lego dreamland. Goshen, a small town about fifty miles northwest of the Big Apple, has approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park.

    A small New York town, Goshen approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park. Legoland Florida is in Winter Haven. [Times file  photo]
  5. Jordan Park to get $20 million makeover and new senior housing

    Real Estate

    By WAVENEY ANN MOORE

    Times Staff Writer

    ST. PETERSBURG —The St. Petersburg Housing Authority, which bought back the troubled Jordan Park public housing complex this year, plans to spend about $20 million to improve the 237-unit property and construct a new three-story building for …

    Jordan Park, the historic public housing complex, is back in the hands of the St. Petersburg Housing Authority. The agency is working to improve the 237-unit complex. But the latest plan to build a new three-story building for seniors will mean 31 families have to find new homes. [LARA CERRI   |   Tampa Bay Times]