Make us your home page

RNC hotel locations: It's not all about beaches and proximity

Looking at a map of the hotels that are housing delegates for the Republican National Convention, two trends stand out: They are either in or near downtown Tampa where the convention will take place, or they are near one of Pinellas County's white-sand beaches.

Except for two.

Walk out the door of the Holiday Inn St. Petersburg/Clearwater Airport or the nearby St. Petersburg Marriott Clearwater, and you are miles from the nearest beach and even farther from the convention's epicenter, the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

At first glance, it looks like the delegates from Idaho, Colorado and New Mexico got the bottom of the barrel in terms of hotel location for the August convention.

But don't tell that to Ian Larson, general manager of the St. Petersburg Marriott Clearwater, which will be hosting the delegates from Idaho. They will have the best of both worlds: a nice hotel in a location central to the entire Tampa Bay area.

The hotels aren't on the beach, but they're not far from it. And guests are close to both Tampa and St. Petersburg, not restricted to just one or the other.

When the delegates go looking for something fun to do — be it a trip to the beach, the waterfront shops of St. Petersburg or the Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks — they aren't far away.

"We know and can make recommendations to all the areas," Larson said.

Bob Sauerwine, director of sales for the Holiday Inn at the St. Petersburg/Clearwater airport, which will be hosting the delegates from Colorado and New Mexico, agreed.

The Holiday Inn is just as close to the museums of downtown St. Petersburg as it is to the Florida Aquarium in downtown Tampa.

Just because his hotel is a bit further away from the convention, that doesn't mean it won't see plenty of action from visitors.

"The economic impact (of the convention) is on the whole area," Sauerwine said.

James Davis, director of communications for the RNC, said each hotel assignment was based on cost and the size of the delegation.

Convention organizers booked 16,000 rooms at 100 hotels in the bay area and still have to finalize the room assignments for the media, members of the host committee and law enforcement.

All of the hotels, Davis said, meet the organizers' high standards.

"These are all places that we would highly recommend to our friends and family," he said.

RNC hotel locations: It's not all about beaches and proximity 05/01/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 2, 2012 5:08pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Study: Florida most friendly state for retired veterans

    Working Life

    Florida is the nation's best state for military retirees looking for somewhere to settle. That's according to a study released Monday by WalletHub which rated Florida the most friendly when it comes to economic factors, quality of life and health care.

    Veterans watch the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during training camp in 2016. Florida is the most friendly state for retired veterans according to a new WalletHub study. | LOREN ELLIOTT, Times
  2. Department store chain from Puerto Rico coming to University Mall


    TAMPA — Grand's, a department store chain from Puerto Rico, will open inside the former Dillard's space at University Mall in September.

    Grand's, a department store chain from n Puerto Rico, will open inside the former Dillard's space at University Mall in Tampa in September. Coloring rendering of revamped University Mall.
[CBRE Group]
  3. Bistro 60 offers inviting buffet in surprising location on Adamo Drive


    While many families scrambled to find a brunch option that didn't have a line out the door and a long wait so mom could enjoy her special day earlier this week, a new posh eatery boldly entered the local market in time for its first Mother's Day buffet.

    The Bistro 60 at the Clarion Hotel on E Adamo Drive features three bars, including a well-lit one inside.
  4. AP Source: Ford replaces CEO in push to transform business


    DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. is replacing CEO Mark Fields amid questions about its current performance and future strategy, according to a person familiar with the situation.

    Ford Motor Co. President and CEO Mark Fields speaks during a media preview of the 2018 Lincoln Navigator at the New York International Auto Show in New York in April 2017. Ford is replacing its CEO amid questions about its current performance and future strategy, a person familiar with the situation has said. Fields will be replaced by Jim Hackett, who joined Ford's board in 2013. [Associated Press]
  5. St. Petersburg hopeful Congress will add a NOAA facility, research vessel to downtown waterfront

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — The city's efforts to energize its downtown port could get a big boost from the federal government.

    There is vacant land next to SRI International, 450 Eighth Ave. SE, that could be the site of a new National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration center in downtown St. Petersburg.