TAMPA, FL - A preliminary report from the Florida Department of Revenue indicates some local industries struggled during the Republican National Convention (RNC), even though tourism soared across Tampa Bay. And the net economic gain of the week-long event may have been negligible.
While much was made about Hillsborough County's 25% jump and Pinellas County's 22% jump in hotel collections from August 2011, overall sales tax numbers from Tampa Bay's core counties were up just 6% and 4%, respectively.
Meanwhile, the improving economy helped counties without much RNC impact like Manatee, Pasco, and Polk, enjoy healthier gains of 9%, 8%, and 8%, respectively, from the previous August.
In Hillsborough County, where hotels were up more than 25%, restaurant/catering sales were up just 6% in August 2012 from the same month in 2011. Similar numbers in Pinellas County indicate local residents may have stayed in more than expected this August, offsetting gains from the increase in visitors.
Other disappointing industries include insurance/banking/savings/loans, which plummeted 46% in Hillsborough County from the previous August. Many businesses in Downtown Tampa shuttered their doors for several weeks amid security concerns.
Advertising was also down by 18% in Hillsborough County and 8% in Pinellas County.
Last week, when the Tampa 2012 Host Committee filed its detailed FEC report, Chief Executive Officer Ken Jones predicted an economic impact to the Tampa Bay region of more than $180 million.
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