While the private industry stresses over the “uncertain economic climate” and their inability to invest, Tampa will be a test case for what economic stimulation (i.e., private and government) could mean for a city not yet safe from the recession’s grip. However, 50,000 delegates, press members, celebrities and visitors cramming into Tampa over four days will surely assist the city’s eager businesses.
Rosie Gray’s Buzzfeed.com article “The Top 5 Strip Clubs for the Republican National Convention” shows how businesses of all sorts are preparing for a serious influx of customers. The club Thee Dollhouse underwent $1 million in renovations to prepare for the RNC. Hey… money is money, right?
- Approximately $520,000 was spent to upgrade the Tampa Bay Times Forum’s sound capabilities.
- AT&T, the official wireless provider for the RNC, has spent about $21 million in the form of three new cell phone towers (to avoid dropped calls), 300 layers of frequency to cell sites (increase wireless download times).
- Bright House Networks added 190 extra miles of fiber optics to the city and 48 miles of indoor data cabling for the forum and Convention Center, increasing Tampa’s Internet capabilities.
- Tampa is spending $2.7 million in beautification efforts.
- Tampa can use up to $50 million for security and law enforcement upgrades. It will be fully reimbursed by Congress. -via Tamara Lush of AP
It will be interesting to see how Tampa’s economy will grow as a result of the RNC. Matt Kramer, the chief of staff for then-Governor Tim Pawlenty, has seen this kind of economic stimulation before. He was a part of a similar situation when the RNC was held in St. Paul in 2008. Kramer added that events like these spark a certain kind of economic environment you don’t typically see.
According to the article:
“‘An event of this magnitude builds a professional level of competency that otherwise would have never occurred,’ said Kramer, adding that he feels his region is better poised to draw large events now that it has successfully organized a political convention. – via Tamara Lush of AP”
I’m left wondering why our elected officials don’t take advantage of these models for economic growth and create a similar environment in cities hit hardest by the recession.