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Tampa Bay Times from St. Petersburg, Florida • A6

Tampa Bay Timesi
St. Petersburg, Florida
Issue Date:
Extracted Article Text (OCR)

6A ednesday Febr ua ry 5 20 14 ampa ay imes surf of ampa Ba y. mind all Street, read one New Yo rk City sign. nves in some sun. oop. But this circ ular thing called the sun, said one ad tretched across a bus that refers to hicag business district.

salt margaritas, not sidewalks, said one partic ular subway ad draped in snow outside a Canal Street station in New Yo rk Cit hinatown. rom the tweets and some of the feedback we re ge ting is tha they re loving he essaging said Minich. he re thinking we do need to come down there and salt some margaritas instead of sidewalks. resonating with them because it is speaking to them as New orkers instead of just a eneric ey i warm, it sunn come on down ad. he new nlock ampa Ba brand designed to sell ampa as a warm-weathe urban a nd ultural complement to the Pinellas beaches is also enjoying a trong reception up north, according to CEO Santiago Corrada of the illsborough tourism agenc Visit Ta pa Ba y.

illsborough hotels enjoyed a trong fourth quarter i the end of 2013, and orrada oesn see that let ting up in the irst quarter of 20 14 re expecting increases in a verage daily rates, he said, we re seeing increases in occ u- pancy rates. I Pinellas, hoteliers are reporting that their bookings are already reaching full capacity for the next four months of the winter touris season, according to inich. here is some av ailabilit in the interior of thecount he said, the prime beachfront proper ties, the big proper ties, are already ge ting full on certain peak days. think we re looking at a really great winter season. To the tourism industr this is what the hristmas season is to retailers.

To Sat terfield, the vice pres- i dent of operations at A den Suites resort in St. Pe te Beach, reported more specific numbers: his bookings for anuar 20 14 were up 25 percent compared to the same month in 2013. Right now ebruar 20 14 is up 6 percent, arch 20 14 is up 10 percent and April 20 14 is up 17 percent compared to the same months in 2013, he said. of to a great tart, Satterfield said. ver ything right now i ndicates a trong inter season.

Another metric of success is the number of people who are checking out Visit St. Pe te- lear water winter web address (ineedsun. com): ebsite visits were up 107 percent and page visits were up 120 percent in anuar 20 14 compared to anuar 2013. Winter storms, though, av also canceled or delayed thousands of flights across the nited States and dozens in and out of Ta pa I nternational Airport. What kind of immediate ef fect is that ha ving on local tourism? ot much of one, actually a ixed bag inich said.

he disruption in air tra vel hasn really led to a discernible drop in business, inich said. Visitors whose flights are being delayed or canceled are not canceling their trips to the bay area. re just ge ting here a ter Conversel those who are already in ampa Bay ha ve to spend extra time here waiting to ge a light home, inich said. Sat terfield said his guests told him that ven the ba less ideal weather last week was ool, gray and wet beats any of the cold, snowy and icy days back home. hat I a ve been hearin consistently is that the weather is just so bad that they had to ge out, he said.

ven last week, when the weather was questionable, I was told by a guest that 60 here and aining but it six degrees where I from. amal Thalji can be eached or (813) 226 -3404. ollow him on witter thalji TOURISM co tinued fr om 1 A Harsh winter weather boosts Tampa Bay tourism Fr om he ro nt age tampabay or the latest news Snowstorms inundating much of U.S. Los Angeles Times Fo as much as wo-thirds of the nited States, this has, indeed, been the winter of our discontent. Ev en as a harsh storm was dropping as much as 10 inches of snow on parts of the id- west, especially Kansas, that same system was moving east and was expected to make the vening commute and this drives to work a miserable experience in the Nor th- east.

After a snowstorm earlier this week, a third storm is gathering and is expected to hit at the end of the weekend and into the early part of onda y. Winter torm arnings were posted for more than a dozen states where well more than one-third of the nation population lives. Where there weren warnings, there were advisories. he hea vy snow closed schools throughout the region where many places were repor ting tha he days lost weather were piling up almost as high as the drifts outside. I ndiana, for xample, has some areas where schools were closed for a full week in anuar because of the weather and road conditions.

ore han 3, 700 flights were elayed on uesda and mor than 1,200 were canceled by midda according to Flighta-, a website that tracks air traf ic. Records were buried in snow piles. Detroit, for xample, recorded 39. 1 inches of snow in anuar a record for the month, and Ne Yo rk City received almost 2 feet more snow than in most other years. I hicago, the torm marked the 33 rd and 34 th days of measurable snow this season, according to the Chicag ribune.

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