August 23rd, 2017 TDC Recap

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Dear Industry Partners:

Below you'll find a few highlights from last week's Tourist Development Council meeting. We have posted the TDC agenda online, along with our monthly department reports. You can watch the meeting here.

June Marks 46th Consecutive Month of Bed Tax Growth

Tourist Development Tax collections totaled more than $4.7 million in June, an increase of 5.3% year-over-year, representing record-breaking territory and continuing a consecutive months growth streak that dates back to 2013. With three months left in FY16-17, collections sit at $42.7 million, 11.6% ahead of last year's record total. Driving June's bed tax performance were increases in key hotel metrics as Average Daily Rate (ADR) jumped 4.2% and Revenue per Available Room (RevPAR) increased 2%---both of which led St. Pete/Clearwater's comp set.

360° Videos Bring Event Spaces To Life At Connect Marketplace

Visit St. Pete/Clearwater is unveiling groundbreaking 360-degree videos of hotel meeting spaces at Connect Marketplace this week in New Orleans. Connect, an appointment-only meetings trade show, is one of the largest meetings and sports events in the U.S. The videos allow meeting/event planners and businesses to dive deeper into the available venues with a real-life experience through state-of-the-art virtual reality headsets. VSPC plans to expand the virtual content in the future by showcasing sports venues, too. View the videos for yourself on the meetings website.

Penny For Pinellas Up For Renewal

On November 7, Pinellas County citizens will decide whether to continue supporting an additional 1% sales tax, dubbed Penny for Pinellas, for another 10 years, spanning from 2020-2030. Since the Penny went into effect in 1990, the Penny has generated more than $3.5 billion, a third of which is paid for by visitors and tourists. The Penny funds county-wide projects, from roads and bridges to neighborhood parks, with almost 200 projects benefiting since it started. The next installment of the Penny is expected to generate more than $2 billion. For more information, click here.

St. Pete/Clearwater Ranked As Sporting Paradise, Hosts Busy Summer

The Tampa Bay region, including St. Pete/Clearwater, was ranked No. 8 among the Top 20 cities for sports and adventure, according to Resonance. This comes as no surprise given the list of sporting events the VSPC Sports & Events team has welcomed to the destination this summer. The highlights include the Professional Women's Bowling Association (PWBA) Open in Seminole and the USA Softball Gold National Championship and World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) World Championships in Clearwater, which were held back-to-back in the same destination for the first time ever. The National Age Group Swimming Association (NASA) Summer Senior Championships was also held in St. Pete.

Again, these are just a few highlights. There is a Capital Project Funding Program Recommendations workshop from 9-10:30 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 15 at VSPC offices. The next regular TDC meeting is at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 20.

David Downing
Executive Director