H&LA’s recent research for a project near in Tamp, Florida revealed some exciting new hospitality-related developments happening in the area. These developments will have an impact on tourism, employment, and the general economy in Tampa and the surrounding areas in 2022 and beyond. On-going pandemic concerns may alter timelines for some of these projects.
- In spring 2022, the Busch Gardens Tampa Bay theme park debuted the new Iron Gwazi roller coaster. Billed as the tallest hybrid coaster in North America, the 206-foot-tall Iron Gwazi features a 91-degree drop and reaches speeds of 76 miles per hour. This project involved an extensive refurbishment of the existing Gwazi coaster and represents a total investment of about $9 million.
- In 2020, the Adventure Island outdoor waterpark in Tampa debuted a new water slide attraction called the Solar Vortex. Manufactured by WhiteWater, Solar Vortex features a broad funnel that propels rafts through a tunnel with brightly colored lights, reaching speeds of 20 miles per hour. The property added two new rides in 2021 – Rapids Racer and Wahoo Remix – as well as the Hang Ten Tiki Bar. Adventure Island sits adjacent to the Busch Gardens Tampa Bay theme park, and the two parks offer discounted, packaged admission year round.
- Construction on a large public park project called Imagine Clearwater is now underway in the city of Clearwater. This $84 million waterfront park, scheduled to open in the summer of 2023, will feature a $15 million amphitheater with 4,000 covered seats and lawn space for another 5,000 spectators. The park will also include a garden, playground, and walking trails, all with scenic views of the Intracoastal Waterway.
- A new attraction called the Catapult Adventure Park is scheduled to open northwest of St. Petersburg in mid-2022. This 30,000-square-foot indoor attraction will feature rock-climbing walls, slides, inflatables, and space for special events such as birthday parties and corporate retreats.
- Internet retail giant Amazon is planning to open a new $150 million robotic sortation center in Pasco County, Florida, north of Tampa. This 517,220-square-foot facility will be part of the Eagle Industrial Park off State Route 52 in San Antonio, Florida, northwest of Zephyrhills. This facility is expected to employ about 500 workers.