No U.S. airline pilot is believed to have ever done what German pilot Andreas Lubitz is accused of doing Tuesday: deliberately crashing a commercial airliner, killing himself and 149 others.
Now Tampa Bay area pilots are wrestling with a stunning act they can barely comprehend.
"This is so far from the standard that professional pilots maintain and hold themselves to," said retired St. Petersburg airline pilot and aviation safety expert John Cox, 61. "It is almost indescribable."...
CLEARWATER — Pinellas County uses all the ephemeral tools of modern marketing — targeted Web ads, social media, viral content — to attract tourists.
Just weeks ago, the county paid for snowmen bearing snarky signs to appear in Chicago and New York. The online #WinterBlows campaign was a bid to reach 20-somethings through Instagram and Twitter.
Now Pinellas wants to attract visitors with something old-fashioned, something they can actually hold in their hands:...
This year's recipient of the Tony Jannus Award is airline CEO Maurice J. Gallagher Jr., whose low-cost carrier Allegiant Air is propelling St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport toward a new passenger record.
Gallagher's honor was announced Tuesday at the airport. The Allegiant CEO is the 52nd recipient of the award, which is handed out by the Tony Jannus Distinguished Aviation Society every year to recognize a figure in the world of commercial aviation....
TAMPA — The Seminole Tribe of Florida has declared that the fate of its plan to build the biggest hotel in Hillsborough County hinges on the fate of the deal that lets it offer baccarat and blackjack in Florida.
In delivering that message to state leaders, the tribe has revealed its business strategy for the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa:
They want to take it global....
TAMPA — In December, Jeff Vinik unveiled his $1 billion vision to transform 40 acres of downtown property into a vibrant waterfront district. He asked the public to help shape it.
Now it's time to ask the experts.
Vinik has hired two men considered among the best in the business: "new urbanists" Jeff Speck and David Dixon are city planners at the forefront of the movement to build walkable urban spaces for people to live and work in....
03/17/15 Economic Development
TAMPA — The Tampa Port Authority's governing board on Tuesday authorized spending $20.8 million — half from the port, half from the state — to one day build a new refrigerated warehouse to bring back perishable foods to Tampa's docks.
Port officials said that they're also negotiating with several companies looking to move their food products through Tampa.
"We're very close," port CEO Paul Anderson said....
TAMPA — Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik has added a big-time name to his team — but not to boost his hockey franchise's playoff fortunes.
Jeff Speck is a city planner, author, TED talker and one of the nation's leading proponents of "new urbanism," the movement to build walkable urban neighborhoods for people to live and work in.
He's also the newest member of the group Vinik has assembled to design and build his $1 billion redevelopment of downtown Tampa's waterfront....
TAMPA — When Jordan Zimmerman gave $10 million to the University of South Florida last week, he said it was because the university inspired him to become the successful advertising executive he is today.
USF inspired him, mainly, by being wrong.
Zimmerman was a USF undergraduate in the 1980s when a professor explained the "purchase funnel." That's a marketing model used to explain a consumer's journey — awareness, interest, desire, action — from learning about a product to buying it....
03/10/15 Economic Development
The Seminole Tribe of Florida is planning a $1.6 billion expansion of its casinos and hotels in Tampa and Hollywood that could create 4,000 permanent jobs.
But it says those projects won't happen unless Florida's leaders and the tribe agree on a new gaming compact that would allow the Seminoles to continue offering banked card games like blackjack.
"If nothing happens," Seminole Gaming CEO Jim Allen told the Tampa Bay Times editorial board Tuesday, "both of these projects are on hold."...
TAMPA — Jordan Zimmerman knows branding.
He helped craft the "Just Say No" anti-drug campaign of the 80s as an undergrad. When Madison Avenue wouldn't hire him, he built his own advertising agency. Zimmerman Advertising went on to craft famous brand campaigns for clients like Dunkin' Donuts ("America runs on Dunkin' ") and Papa John's Pizza ("Better ingredients. Better pizza.") He's also built his own personal brand as an industry innovator and executive-turned-philosopher....
TAMPA — A $943 million construction project is under way to make Tampa International Airport bigger and better. Now airport officials want to class up the joint, too.
The Hillsborough County Aviation Authority on Thursday voted to revive its public arts committee and start commissioning new works of art to adorn the expanded airport in 2017.
"We want this to be a world-class destination for art," said Chris Minner, vice president of marketing....
03/04/15 Real Estate
TAMPA — The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is seeking permission to build a new hotel tower alongside its most profitable casino.
The proposed hotel, at 1.2 million square feet, would have 16 floors and 573 rooms, making it the second-largest hotel in Hillsborough County. The largest is the downtown Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina, which has 27 floors and 719 rooms.
The bay area economic climate is certainly inviting to new hotel construction: Tourism, hotel profits and the real estate market for existing hotels are all booming....
03/03/15 Economic Development
TAMPA — The new retail options vying to do business at the renovated Tampa International Airport include Guess, HSN, the PGA, Quiksilver, Spanx, Tommy Bahama, Tumi, Victoria's Secret — and Beanie Babies.
Dylan's Candy Bar, an exclusive candy boutique from Dylan Lauren, daughter of designer Ralph Lauren, also wants to open shop at TIA. So does Marc by Marc Jacobs, the designer's more affordable line, and high-end housewares designer Jonathan Adler....
02/27/15 Economic Development
If the bay area's most refined palates held a fantasy foodie draft while locked in the wine cellar at Bern's Steak House, they might dream up something like this:
Mise en Place's Maryann Ferenc and Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik leading a foodie's row of Bern's, Four Green Fields, Holy Hog BBQ, Kahwa Coffee, Mazarro Italian Market and Rumfish Grill.
Or triple-threat restaurateur Richard Gonzmart (Columbia Restaurant, Goody Goody and Ulele) and Ducky's owner/Tampa Bay Rays star Evan Longoria anchoring a lineup of Bella's Italian Cafe, Buddy Brew Coffee and Datz....
Madison Avenue loves the "manaphin."
The manaphin is the mythical half-manatee, half-dolphin creature that Pinellas tourism officials created last year as an April Fools' Day prank that brought worldwide media attention to the county's beaches.
That campaign received one of the hospitality industry's highest marketing awards Monday night in New York City.
The Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International's Adrian Awards gave the Pinellas County tourism agency, Visit St. Pete-Clearwater, two of its platinum honors, one for the viral manaphin hoax and the other for a website used by the VSPC's industry partners....