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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Tampa one of four finalists to host national gay and lesbian business group's 2018 convention

Rosario Coronado of Tampa holds the gay pride flag during a candlelight vigil held in Tampa last year to remember victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting.

OCTAVIO JONES | Times (2016)

Rosario Coronado of Tampa holds the gay pride flag during a candlelight vigil held in Tampa last year to remember victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting.

10

March

The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce has named Tampa one of its four finalists to host its annual convention in August 2018.

The other finalists are Austin, Texas, Philadelphia and New Orleans. The convention would need 2,450 hotel rooms. A decision is expected by mid-April.

Hosting the convention would “elevate the entire Tampa Bay community in the eyes of the world as a major LGBTQ destination capable of putting on a significant, high-quality national event,” said Visit Tampa Bay CEO Santiago Corrada said in a statement released through the Tampa Bay Diversity Chamber of Commerce.

"We at the Tampa Bay Diversity Chamber of Commerce are proud of our members and their companies for embracing diversity as a strength ... to make our region a thriving economic hub attracting a talented workforce," Tampa Bay Diversity Chamber board member Nick Janovsky said in an email to the Times.

In letters to organizers, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman touted the bay area as an ideal host city.

"In fact, St. Petersburg is home to one of America’s largest Pride parades and festivals, and has earned a perfect score in the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index,” Kriseman said.

“As one of the most diverse cities in the United States and home to some of the most influential and supportive business leaders, we feel we have the necessary resources to produce one of the most successful events ever,” Buckhorn said. "Our city has hosted countless meetings and conventions of every shape and size and we continuously demonstrate to each attendee that Tampa offers a unique, exciting experience for all its visitors.”

[Last modified: Friday, March 10, 2017 6:06pm]

    

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