Tampa Bay Political Getaway: Visit the Republican National Convention

Looking for a vacation with some meaning? Well, the Republican National Committee just announced that it’s selected Tampa Bay for its 2012 presidential convention. So, don an elephant hat and start pushing for access now! More than 40,000 visitors are expected to hit the city the week of the convention (August 27, 2012), more than 15,000 of which will be members of the media.

According to Paul Catoe, president and CEO of Tampa Bay & Company, “This will be the largest non-sporting event that Tampa Bay has ever hosted and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome the 2012 RNC to our vibrant destination.” He also noted, “Tampa Bay is a dynamic destination that offers warm weather and even warmer hospitality, and I know we will produce the most memorable convention ever.”

If the 2008 convention in Minneapolis can be used to gauge the impact, some big cash should flow through Tampa Bay, especially for the hospitality industry. At the last Republican National Convention, 2,800 new jobs were created, bringing with them $100 million in wages.

Catoe observed, “The 2012 convention will be held during a time period that historically one of our lowest periods of the year for hotel occupancy.” He continued, “Having an additional 40,000 visitors in our community will provide an economic boost for businesses both in the hospitality industry, as well as those indirectly involved.”

Florida in the sumer may be tough, but at least you’ll sweat to be a part of history.

[Via Cigar Reader]

Gondola accident at Busch Gardens in Florida: Football player tumbles

We’ve covered amusement park accidents in the past. Here’s another one. In an unfortunate mishap at Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay, Florida a football player from the University of Southern Florida found his good deed costing him. Maikon Bonani was working at the gondola ride when he thought the door of one of the cars wasn’t latched as it was leaving the station.

With quick thinking he grabbed onto the door in an effort to keep it closed. Unfortunately, as the gondola of the sky ride went up into the air, so did he. Eventually, he let go and fell 35 feet. Luckily the area below was landscaped and not asphalt.

Bonani is in fair condition and it sounds as if he’ll recover–I hope. Of course, the park is reviewing safety procedures. One of the morals of this story is that if you are at an amusement park and fall 35 feet, be in good shape with well developed muscles. It does wonders for the outcome. Plus, make sure you hear that clink shut of the latch of any ride you climb into. It helps to pay attention.

As for the passengers who were riding in the gondola when Maikon Bonani fell. Can you imagine? That Busch Garden vacation turned out much differently than they ever imagined. [AP article]