Tampa is about to get connected in a big way.
A West Florida favorite for attendees craving good weather and other tropical fun, Tampa is set to unveil a massive Riverwalk project in mid-2014 that will greatly enhance its meetings and conventions profile.
The 2.4-mile project will link the city’s major visitor attractions via a waterfront promenade, with the Tampa Convention Center located in the middle and surrounded by numerous restaurants, bars, entertainment venues, parks and hotels.
“There will be so much to do in between sessions—waterfront bars, Segway and bike rentals, paddleboarding—right outside of the convention center and convention hotels,” says Susan Williams, director of services and special events for Visit Tampa Bay. “This Riverwalk package has added such a great dynamic to our downtown, so attendees can enjoy resort amenities in a downtown setting.”
Riverwalk off-site opportunities include Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, a popular venue for events, as well as the Tampa Museum of Art and the Tampa Bay History Center, both of which are fewer than five years old.
The city’s convention package offers approximately 2,300 rooms situated around the Tampa Convention Center, with major brands such as Marriott, Hilton, Sheraton, Westin, Embassy Suites and Courtyard by Marriott Residence Inn represented. Two brand-new hotels, a Le Meridien occupying a historic courthouse building and the riverfront Aloft, have recently been added to the mix.
The Tampa Convention Center offers 600,000 square feet of space, with a 200,000-square-foot exhibit hall and a waterfront location that sets it apart from much of its convention center competition.
“One of the cool things about our convention package is it’s right there on the water in Florida, so there are palm trees and it’s sunny,” Williams says.