Deflated directors of the Florida State Fair Authority shot down a developer’s proposal Monday to build a hotel, an RV park and a field house at the fairgrounds, saying they expect more money and more “wow,” the Tampa Bay Times reported.
The proposal from Republic Land Development was a much scaled-down version of a plan it introduced about a year ago to bring more venues — and more revenue — to the fair property along Interstate 4 east of Tampa.
Board members expressed disappointment in the latest plan, saying it lacked the “wow factor” of the earlier pitch.
That one also included such attractions as a sports complex, a water park and a bowling alley.
“I just had a different vision than what has been presented here,” board member Jeff Clyne said. “It’s just a long way from where I thought this would go.”
Republic’s latest proposal would have generated less than $500,000 a year for the fair authority — much less than the $2 million that the fair’s governing board hopes to bring in.
Stacy Hornstein, senior vice president for Republic Land Development, cautioned the board that real estate is not a quick fix. While the first phase would involve the hotel, a field house, an RV park and, gradually, six restaurants, it would take about nine years before those parts were fully operational.
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