Well, unless you are living under a box, you will know that the Republican National Convention is coming to Tampa in August. Preparations are already under way and this is going to be an exciting, congested and chaotic event.
Time: August 27 -30.
Place: Tampa Bay Times Forum
Estimates are that there will be over 40,000 visitors and an economic boost of over $100 million to the local business economy. Much of that is probably going to security, however, with the amount of visitors coming to town there is sure to be a huge boost for hotels, restaurant, night clubs and other tourist attractions. You can bet that there will be lots of parties and some places like the Florida Aquarium, booked from Aug. 26 – 30.
Who are the 40,000 visitors?
It will be a mix of politicians, protestors, political action groups, police, political insiders, volunteers, and die-hard party faithfuls. Although the convention itself is only on for four days, the whole month of August is sure to be busy for the city of Tampa. All of the logistics of making an event like this run smoothly take time to prepare The worker bees are most likely already here with more coming at the beginning of next month. Security people are certainly coming early as well.
How Will This Affect Traffic?
During the final week of August, downtown traffic is going to be horrendous. If you are located in that area, it is best to postpone any type of move until September. If you have no choice and have to move, then you will want to coordinate your move carefully with the moving company, making sure that the roads you choose are passable. I know that it sounds funny, but you never know if there is going to be a march, protest, police blockade, or some other type of traffic clogging event. Some businesses are even thinking of shutting down for the week because of security concerns.
One other thing that you may want to keep in mind is that there are going to be events in other parts of the area that impact traffic. For instance, St. Petersburg is having a parade during the final week of August that is sure to cause a lot of traffic problems.
Both St. Pete and Tampa have “Event Zones” where most of the official activities are going to be. Parties being held in St. Pete and Tampa could even cause the closure of major highways. At the time of writing this blog post, the Secret Service has not announced any road closures, so stay tuned and be aware. Knowing when and where the parties and events are taking place can save a lot of grief when moving.
Travel Will Be An Issue
One of the other things that you need to know is that many attractions in Tampa and around the area are booked for private parties. This will mostly affect Channelside and Ybor city, but other parts of the area will have parties as well. What that means is that there is sure to be heavy security around those areas. Once again, travel will be an issue.
If you are moving, what kind of things to plan for? Are there any roads closed? Is there a way to get to point A to point B with as little fuss as possible? We know for sure that downtown Tampa is going to be a mess. The bridges are going to be congested from visitors choosing to be in Pinellas county and then traveling in each day. So, you definitely want to stay informed so that you do not end up in the middle of a march and stuck in traffic for hours on end.
Here is a link that covers the convention. It may be a good idea to keep an eye on things if you intend to move. Also the local news will have good info on events so tune into the local news when you get a chance.