Looking to Plan a Meeting in St. Pete/Clearwater?
Learn everything you need to know about this Florida paradise at Destination Southeast
, Northstar's premier event for meetings and incentive pros looking to book biz in the area.
New & Coming Soon to St. Pete/Clearwater
The destination’s new “Rise to Shine” campaign was launched to let visitors know what hotels, attractions, restaurants and destinations are doing to keep the public safe in the destination. The messaging is being spread through a variety of marketing outlets, including broadcast advertising, signage at both the St. Pete/Clearwater and Tampa international airports and outdoor billboards. According to Visit St. Pete/Clearwater’s president and CEO Steve Hayes, “It’s more important than ever for our destination to demonstrate that you can travel responsibly, and we’re here to support the county face covering ordinance and other safety measures.”
St. Pete Beach’s landmark Grand Plaza and The Beachcomber hotels will soon will undergo a combined $30 million in improvements. Changes to the 1974-circa Grand Plaza Hotel include enhancements to its 156 guest rooms, public spaces, its four F&B outlets, as well as to the resort’s 8,000 square feet of meeting and event spaces.
The Beachcomber has similar plans, including floor-to-ceiling upgrades to its 102 guest rooms, main lobby, courtyard and pool deck, plus the addition of a new game room.
• The 91-room Winter the Dolphin’s Beach Club Hotel, a five-story, marine-life themed property has debuted in Clearwater Beach near the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. The property, part of Choice Hotels’ Ascend Collection, features two restaurants, an outdoor heated pool and a sundeck. Guests can rest easy at the eco-friendly, marine-themed hotel, which has banned single-use plastics and installed sea turtle–safe lighting as part of its sustainability initiatives. In partnership with the nearby Clearwater Marine Aquarium, the hotel charges a daily conservation fee of $9.95 per guest room to fund the rescue, rehabilitation and release of injured marine life.
• The 132-room Tru by Hilton St. Petersburg has opened in the Grand Central District, near Tropicana Field and the Dali Museum. The boutique property offers an outdoor terrace, a fitness center, complimentary WiFi and 500 square feet of meeting space. Enhanced cleaning and safety standards under Hilton’s new EventReady With CleanStay program give planners and attendees a safe event experience from start to finish.
• Southeast Florida’s newest waterfront attraction has opened in St. Petersburg. Located adjacent to the city’s vibrant downtown, the 26-acre St. Pete Pier and its impressive cultural and recreational offerings serve as a $92 million investment and major extension to the city’s burgeoning amenities. The wide-open space already hosts several public art installations from internationally renowned artists and is well positioned for recreational and cultural activities including beach sports, events, concerts, pop-up performances and markets. The pier itself offers five stories of shops, balconies and restaurants.
• A $44 million rapid transit project that will link downtown St. Petersburg and St. Pete Beach has taken another step forward. The newly dubbed "SunRunner" bus line will convey passengers via speedy signal-priority lanes, making the trip from the city’s downtown to its beaches in less than 35 minutes. Completion of the project is expected in 2022.
• A revival of St. Pete Beach’s historic
Don CeSar Hotel is more than two-thirds complete. Phase two of the refresh included updates to the lobby bar, meetings facilities, retail space, Uncle Andy’s Ice Cream Parlor and the award-wining Maritana restaurant. The National Historic Landmark property is now in its third and final phase of work, which is expected to finish in the fall, transforming the hotel’s 277 guest rooms, and revamping the Sea Porch Café and the Beachcomber Bar & Grill.
• The 123-room Karol Hotel debuted in February with a rooftop bar overlooking Tampa Bay, a signature lobby bar and restaurant, an outside pool and fitness center, and a combined 7,340 square feet of event space including a ballroom and executive conference rooms. The Marriott Tribute
Portfolio-flagged property is located 12 minutes from St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport.
• St. Pete’s development review commission has green-lighted plans for a
new $300 million mixed-use tower. Slated for a downtown 2.3-acre site
with sweeping views of Tampa Bay, the project will include a 225-room,
hotel with a rooftop pool, casual dining and more than 15,000 square
feet of meeting and event space. The 45-story skyscraper will also
include 300 luxury condominiums plus 25,000 square feet of retail
shopping and restaurants. Construction is scheduled
to begin in spring 2020.
• A 161-room, Marriott-flagged Moxy Hotel, is coming to St. Pete’s burgeoning Edge District. Amenities will include a rooftop pool and bar, plus an outdoor wellness and
meditation space. The property is scheduled to open in 2022.
rooftop Dewey Beach Bar & Grill offers three gathering areas, a horseshoe-shaped bar that seats 21 and "elevated beach cuisine." The venue is available for private groups of 200 guests.
• A 200-room Marriott Autograph Collection
hotel is also being planned in the heart of downtown St. Petersburg.
mixed-used tower also calls for 325 condominiums, dining and retail
space. At press time, details on other offerings — including meeting and
event space — as well as a projected opening date have not yet been
announced. Stay tuned.
Island Resorts is currently upgrading its two properties, the 211-room RumFish Beach Resort and 585-room sister property
TradeWinds Island Grand,
at a cost of $13 million. Both
TradeWinds venues are being refreshed with new bedding, draperies,
upholstery, sofa beds, carpeting and reappointed bathrooms. Half of the
rooms at the Island Grand have already been refreshed; the rest will be
completed by late 2020. Read more
• Who doesn't love dolphins? Generations of marine enthusiasts will be going all in when the Clearwater Marine Aquarium
a $70 million expansion specially designed to rescue and
rehabilitate dolphins, whales and other distressed aquatic life found on
coastal beaches and waterways. The new facilities include a 7,200-square-foot event space that will accommodate 440 guests, a theater that will accommodate 275 attendees and a 1.5-million-gallon dolphin
habitat that also will showcase the aquarium's most celebrated
residents, Winter and Hope and its newest high-profile resident. Hemingway, a 700-pound Atlantic bottlenose male dolphin. The new meeting space is slated for completion in fall 2020 along with a new dolphin habitat.
• North Clearwater Beach's Hotel Cabana
is sporting a lavish new look following a total refresh and renovation.
Accented by 29 Key West-inspired
guest rooms and suites, property perks include a heated pool,
complimentary Kahwa-branded coffee and WiFi, a landscaped courtyard, a
sun deck and easy access to nearby restaurants, bars and beaches.
• St. Pete Beach’s Postcard Inn on the Beach
has revealed a trio of new dining options. Leading off is P.S. Grind,
an open-air coffee bar; Stamps, a bistro with signature dishes,
cocktails; and the expansive new
Tiki Bar that serves beach-inspired delicacies.
• The Inn on the Beach has completed an all-encompassing redesign and renovation of its 14 guest rooms.
The property is in laid-back Pass-a-Grille near the historic 8th Avenue shopping district.
More Event Venues
• The Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg
offers several event and meeting spaces, including a 250-guest ballroom
and a 500-guest conservatory that overlooks Tampa Bay.
The James Museum features 30,000 square feet of gallery space housing an
extensive collection of western and wildlife art from the private collection of
Tom and Mary James, who invested nearly $50 million to create the museum. The
venue offers 6,000 square feet of event space that can accommodate groups
ranging from 20 to 750 guests. In
addition, there is a 129-seat auditorium as well as a museum shop & cafe
that can host gatherings.
Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement, slated to open this
year, will house businessman and collector Rudy Ciccarello’s extensive
collection of furniture, pottery, photography, metalwork and other decorative
arts from the American Arts and Crafts movement of the late 19th and early 20th
centuries. Group meeting and event options include a100-seat auditorium and an
event and banquet hall adorned with 16 period chandeliers that can accommodate around
• Underscored by a nine-gallery, eye-candy collection of more than 500 pieces of American Studio Glass, the Imagine Museum has
recently opened in St. Petersburg. The three-story downtown property is
the latest of a series of regional, privately funded facilities that
are turning the St.Petersburg/Clearwater area into a must-see art
experience. The new venue accommodates private events for up to 150
• The Florida Holocaust Museum in downtown St. Pete accommodates groups
and events in a 200-guest dining room and an intimate 30-guest meeting space. A
critically acclaimed exhibit detailing Anne Frank’s tragic experiences is
currently on display through January 2021.
• The St. Petersburg Museum of
History offers an array of iconic exhibits, ranging
from the world’s first commercial flight to the world’s largest collection of
baseballs autographed by the game’s foremost names. The museum is nearing the completion of a
three-phase, $7 million renovation and expansion project that will add 8,000
square feet of new space, including a new visitor’s center, a new rooftop
terrace and a new exhibit gallery, that will showcase the history of the city and
• St. Pete's NOVA 535 is
a meticulously renovated historic 1920 building with 7,000 square feet
of event space, convenient interstate access, multiple full-service
bars, VIP areas plus a private 4,000-square-foot brick and bamboo
• Stay, meet and play at 362-room Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club.
Located in the vibrant downtown district, guest perks include three
restaurants, a spa, a health club, Ron Garl-designed golf and 60,500
square feet of total event space.