March 22, 2010

Monday Morning Memo is your weekly update on the latest news about downtown Tampa.  Here are the sections found in this issue.  Click on the sections below or scroll down to read the complete issue:
Partnership MattersOpportunities | Seeing is BelievingSpecial Services DistrictCreative Urban CoreDowntown HappeningsIn and Around InTown

Partnership Matters

Membership news: Derrick Morrow, General Manager at Hyatt Regency Tampa, a 19-year Hyatt veteran, has been named General Manager of the year for Hyatt Hotels & Resorts of the mid-size division. This is a great achievement for Mr. Morrow, a first time General Manager. A seasoned hotel industry executive, Mr. Morrow came to Hyatt Regency Tampa from Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay, where he served as Resident Manager for one year.  Mr. Morrow began his career with Hyatt Hotels & Resorts in 1991.  During his 19 years with Hyatt, Mr. Morrow has held numerous management positions including Associate Director of Sales at Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Director of Sales at Hyatt Regency Bethesda and Hyatt Regency Baltimore, Director of Marketing at Hyatt Regency O’Hare and Hyatt Regency Chicago and Regional Vice President of Sales for Hyatt Hotels Corporation Midwest Region in Chicago.  Mr. Morrow attended Howard University where he majored in Hotel Management.  Way to go!

The 14th Annual Downtown Development Forum was a huge success!
  Topics on transportation, transportation oriented development and current status of industry sectors gave attendees an optimistic picture on how downtown Tampa is moving forward in this new decade.  Presentations from the event will be available on the Partnership’s Web site later this week.  Look for a future announcement on when these presentations will be uploaded.

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Downtowners – show your best hospitality!  The Tampa Bay community continues to prove time and time again that it is an extraordinary destination capable of extraordinary achievements.  The Site Selection Committee for the 2012 Republican National Convention will visit the Tampa-St. Petersburg area from Sunday, March 28 to Tuesday, March 30.  This is our opportunity to show the Committee that we are a community capable of handling a national convention of this size and scope, and a community eager to do so.  Tampa Bay & Company, along with many dedicated community partners, has been busy planning for the Committee’s anticipated arrival, and they need YOUR help to make it a success.  A key to our success is showing the Site Selection Committee the hospitality that the Tampa Bay area is known for.  When they arrive, we want to give them a welcome that they’ll never forget.  And during their trip, we want them to know that our community stands prepared to welcome the 2012 Republican National Convention with open arms.  No sign of hospitality is too small.  From including a welcome sign on your organization”s marquee and posting signage in your windows to showing up to fanfare opportunities, we need everyone’s support in order to make this a success.  More details will be forthcoming on exact site visit details and events, so please plan on being as active as possible with this exciting opportunity.  In the meantime, please e-mail to request the “Catch The Wave, RNC 2012” logo, and don’t hesitate to contact Steve Hayes at for any questions, concerns or comments. 

Downtown Tampa is the place to have your kids experience summer camp this summer!  The Florida Aquarium has released its summer camp program.  Each year the Aquarium puts together a program that will entertain and educate your children on the wonders of our Florida environment – all while in downtown Tampa!  To find out what the Aquarium has to offer your children this summer, click here.

Speaking of opportunities at The Florida Aquarium…it’s finally getting warm.  Why not enjoy a staff picnic?  Look no further than The Florida Aquarium!  For a limited time, receive a 10-percent discount on Facility rental (which includes admission to the Aquarium for the day) and specially discounted barbeque packages booked by the end of April. Enjoy our interactive Dive Shows, Penguin Promenades and the Explore A Shore water fun zone!  The sky is the limit with this exciting corporate outing!  A great way to cool off when the temperatures rise.  The Florida Aquarium is the perfect morale boost for your company!  Contact Jason Carroll at (813) 273-4056 or e-mail him at

Mark 2010 Earth Hour on your calendar.  At 8:30pm on the last Saturday of this month (March 27) hundreds of millions of people around the world will turn off their lights for an hour to demand action on climate change.

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Seeing is Believing

This is the Tampa UCAP Downtown Water Pipeline Replacement Project update for March 22.  A map with the road/lane closures is available by clicking here

  • Twiggs Street (west of Meridian): The two lanes on the north side of Twiggs from Meridian to Pierce will be closed.  Motorists should expect a new traffic pattern as the two lanes on the south side will be westbound only.  Eastbound motorists will be detoured on Pierce to Jackson.  Limited street parking will be available in this area.
  • Twiggs Street (east of Meridian): Motorists should expect a new traffic pattern.  Eastbound traffic will be maintained and traffic will shift to one lane westbound from Meridian to Channelside.
  • Nebraska Avenue (Cass to Twiggs): One southbound lane closed.  Motorists should expect a new traffic pattern.  
  • Nebraska Avenue (Kennedy to Zack): Two western lanes closed.  One northbound lane and one southbound lane remain open. 
  • Marion Street:  Closed to through traffic from Scott to Tyler.  For questions regarding changes to bus stops in the immediate vicinity of the Marion Street Transit Center, please contact HART Customer Service at 223-6831.
  • Morgan Street (at Laurel):  Southbound lane closure beginning Wednesday, March 24th
  • WC MacInnes Place:  New traffic pattern.  1 Southbound lane and 1 northbound lane open to traffic.
  • Cass Street (Ashley to Franklin):  Northern parking and travel lane closed between Ashley and Franklin beginning Tuesday, March 23rd.  Two lanes remain open for eastbound traffic.
  • Cass Street (Marion to Pierce): Northern parking and travel lane from Pierce to Marion closed beginning Wednesday, March 24th.  Two lanes for eastbound traffic will be maintained.    No street parking available in this area.
  • Polk Street:  Northern westbound travel lane and parking lane closed to through traffic between Ashley and Tampa beginning Tuesday, March 23rd. 
  • Tampa Street:  Two travel lanes, parking lane and bike lane on the west side closed between Tyler and Zack beginning Tuesday, March 23rd.  Two lanes remain open for southbound traffic.  No street parking available in this area.

Additional information about this project can be found on the Tampa UCAP website at

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Special Services District

The City of Tampa started the conversion of Zack St. from a one way to two way road this week
. Lane closures and on-street parking will be impacted, but the street will remain open for traffic at all times. Work should be complete in about two months. Click here for the schedule.

Florida Bike Month activities continue this week with several offerings: Words for Wheels free bike giveaway essay contest entries due today, 25% Off Service and Repairs (Parts Not Included) at CityBike Tampa and their Urban Pub Crawl on March 25, Bike to Work Day group rides on March 26, ride your bike to the Friday market on March 26 for a free market bag and the much anticipated Tampa Twilight Criterium and Festival on March 27. Visit for more!

Hey Lightning fans…
2010-2011 season tickets are now on sale!  If you want the best seats, don’t delay.  Go to this link.

Hillsborough Area Regional Transit had an extensive update on their Alternatives Analysis study at their March board meeting. Click here to browse through the presentation. They had a transit oriented development expert come talk about the development potential along the Northeast and West Corridors.

Last week the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners approved ballot language for the proposed November transportation referendum. The ballot stipulates that proceeds will be split with 75% going to transit projects and 25% to non-transit projects such as roadways. A public hearing will be held in April prior to their vote on the actual ordinance. Their next workshop is scheduled for 9:00 a.m., March 25 in the County Center, 601 E. Kennedy Blvd.  Stay tuned for more information.

By now everyone should have received their U.S. Census packet in the mail.  It is important that everyone complete the form and return it as soon as possible.  Remember, the U.S. Census is required by the United States Constituion.  The census helps to determine funding for many of the vital programs, such as schools, in our area.  Don't delay.  Make your voice heard and be counted by returning your U.S. Census form today!

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Creative Urban Core

It’s a special day for The Florida Aquarium as they celebrate 15 great years! Come enjoy cake, animal encounters, dive shows, behind-the-scenes tours, arts and crafts tables, temporary tattoos for the kids, and much more. All exhibits will be open, including Explore A Shore. Find cool stuff at our gift shop and receive special member discounts at Café Ray. Don’t miss the excitement. It’s all free for aquarium members with a valid membership and $5 for each additional guest. Paint a Sea Tile to be proudly displayed in our Bays & Beaches Gallery and help send six disadvantaged kids to the Aquarium! ($35 this night only.) Members Only 15th Birthday Celebration is April 11th from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. You must RSVP by Wednesday, April 7th  Not at member yet?   Then call (813) 273.4030 or email to get a membership started and join in the fun!

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Downtown Happenings

You can find cool events on downtown’s own online events calendar!  Click here to find out what’s taking place when and get out to have fun.

The Tampa Bay Lightning continue their playoff push!
The Bolts will be taking on the Carolina Hurricanes Tuesday (3/23) and the New York Rangers April 2nd. Make sure you plan to come out and support the home town team.  The Bolts are doing really well and it would be great to have a repeat of their 2004 Stanley Cup win.

The Henry B. Plant Museum will continue its popular Upstairs/Downstairs at the Tampa Bay Hotel on Friday (3/26). 
Enjoy live theater of single-character vignettes that bring turn-of–the-century Tampa Bay Hotel staff members and guests to life. Based on original research conducted by the Henry Plant Museum, these characters recreate the attitudes and mores of a bygone time, along with the sorrows and joys of their existence. Each character presents a different perspective on the time through his or her particular vantage point at the hotel. All characters in this production are based wholly or in part on actual hotel staff and guests. Performances are 30 minutes.  Find out more by clicking here.

Two popular events are joining forces on Saturday, Saturday (3/27) - the Tampa Twilight Criterium and ECO.lution Festival for an exciting day in downtown Tampa!  This community event will incorporate many options for guests including:

  • Bike races all day long culminating with a professional race at dusk
  • Live music from a stage
  • Food and beverage with a focus on local companies (beer garden open till 10pm)
  • Kids area including a bike rodeo to teach kids safe biking skills, bounce house, bike decorating station, etc.
  • Wellness area including fitness demonstrations, healthy cooking demos and more
  • Exhibitors with a “green” or biking-related theme
  • “Celebrity” races on adult trikes (5:30pm) and a family fun ride (1:20pm)

Organizers hope you can come out and play on March 27! Visit their facebook page  or follow them on Twitter.  There are also lots of biking related activities going on all this month. Please check out for more information.

Don your best Rays gear and head over to the Tampa Bay History Center as they team up with the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday, Saturday (3/27), to celebrate the History Center’s traveling exhibit Shades of Greatness: Art Inspired by Negro Leagues Baseball.  Join Raymond and the Rays street team as you swing for the fences in the Ray’s batting cages, slide into the History Center’s kids craft area, or play ball on our Nintendo Wii consoles. Plus, throughout the day you can register to win free giveaways from the Rays and the Tampa Bay History Center.  In the Museum Store, Art Keeble will sign copies of his new book, Baseball Was My Life: Stories From West Tampa from 2 to 4 p.m.  Any visitors sporting Tampa Bay Rays gear will receive $2.00 off admission to the Tampa Bay History Center.  Activities include:

  • Rays Batting Cages
  • Skee Ball
  • Book Signing  
  • Kids Crafts and Activities
  • Giveaways
  • Special Discounts

Activities in Cotanchobee Park are free. Regular admission rates to the History Center apply. Patrons wearing Tampa Bay Rays apparel will receive a $2.00 discount, which cannot be combined with other offers. Kids’ activities are free with paid museum admission.  For more information, visit or call (813) 228-0097.

GODSPELL continues at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts.  One of the biggest off-Broadway and Broadway successes of all time, this modern and newly updated GODSPELL, based on the Gospel According to St. Matthew, is ultimately a story of coming together to create a loving community embraced by all. Featuring a sparkling score by Grammy- and Oscar-winning composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz (Wicked), GODSPELL boasts a string of popular songs, led by the international hit, "Day By Day.” Audiences will be touched by the parables and last moments of Jesus Christ, all set to a moving contemporized soundtrack of uplifting and heartfelt musical numbers. Come enjoy this innovative, new GODSPELL!  Find out more by clicking here.

April Absolutes:

The Tampa Bay History Center invites you to bring your kids who are in grades 3rd through 5th for a Spring Break Camp titled "Tampa's Urban Treasures."  Camp will be held April 12th through the 16th. Attendees will explore Tampa's many traditions through a week full of exciting games and creative crafts at the History Center.  From a day in the life of pioneer to Seminole culture and Ybor City immigrant life, attendees will even work as archaeologists while they hunt for Tampa's treasures in the museum’s galleries.  The group will also explore outside of the History Center's walls with field trips to local urban historic sites.  The camp is held from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm with before and after care available.  The cost to attend is $135.00 per student for members and $150.00 per student for non-members. Pre-registration is required. For more information, contact assistant curator of education, Jennifer Tyson, at (813) 675-8980 or

Coach Joe Gibbs, formerly with the Washington Redskins, will be the keynote speaker at an upcoming breakfast event called A Game Plan for Life Breakfast.  The event takes place April 28th at the Tampa Convention Center starting at 6:30 a.m.  Find out more by clicking here.

The second annual Sweetwater Paddle for the Cure takes place on Saturday, April 24th with two race options: a 5-mile race, at 8:00 a.m. and a 2-mile family fun paddle, at 10:30 a.m. Set against the background of downtown Tampa’s scenic Riverwalk, both races will launch from Riverfront Park at 1001 North Blvd. All proceeds benefit the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation to fund and develop new treatments for multiple myeloma. For more information and to register contact:

The Florida Orchestra will perform a “Pops in the Park” on April 24th
.  The free concert will take place in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park starting at 7:30 p.m.  What a great way to enjoy an evening under the stars!

May Must Dos:

  • The Florida Aquarium will host its very popular SeaGrapes Fine Wine and Food Festival on May 1st.  This event features over 100 fine wines, 20 great restaurants and live entertainment.  It is a fundraiser for The Florida Aquarium.  Don’t wait.  This event has sold out in the past and this year doesn’t appear to be any different.  Book now by clicking here
  • The City of Tampa’s Friday Concert Series is coming to downtown Tampa!  New for the 2010 series, the four concerts in May, (May 7, 14, 21 and 28), will be held in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. Hixon Park, located on the bank of the Hillsborough River, is bringing renewed energy to downtown Tampa. The park's integrated design with the new Tampa Museum of Art and the Glazer Children's Museum as well as the Tampa Riverwalk connection to the Straz Center for the Performing Arts creates an art community that makes it a destination for everyone. Concert goers will be able to spread out on the Great Lawn or enjoy the terraced seating around the park's perimeter. Families will enjoy the playground and interactive fountains.  More information about these free concerts is coming in future Monday Morning Memos!
  • Mark Your Calendars for the Glazer Children’s Museum’s Imagination Gala is May 22nd. The museum invites you to a Dr. Suess themed "sneak peak."  Guests will enjoy an evening of delectable food and dancing on the third floor as museum staff provides guided tours of exhibits under construction. To find out more, including making your reservations, click here.

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In and Around InTown

Hillsborough County will hold its 7th Annual Neighborhood Conference on Saturday, March 27th at Hillsborough Community College’s Dale Mabry Campus starting at 8:00 a.m.  This conference features workshops, exhibits and other great activities helping everyone become more “neighborly.”  Find out more by clicking here.

601 N. Ashley Drive, Suite 1100, Tampa FL 33602
(813) 221-3686 phone; (813) 229-1328 fax:
Be in the know faster by following the Tampa Downtown Partnership on Twitter at or become a fan of downtown Tampa by visiting the Partnership’s Facebook page