BUSINESS AND PLEASURE

 

2000

A feast of offerings for business and pleasure: High-tech careers. Golden sunsets. Advance degrees. A low cost of living. High fashion. Loads of professional sports. Take your pick. Then say hello to Tampa Bay, a region with a red-hot job market that includes a long list of very attractive fringe benefits-such as beaches year-round golf, theme parks, professional sports and cultural events, to name a few. Business here is so hot that in 1998 the Tama metropolitan area was ranked 33rd out of 182 regions in the nation for job growth, It's no wonder there's a powerful natural attraction between growing high tech companies and the Tampa Bay region.

The fact is, we're the gateway to America's hottest high tech corridor. From the Suncoast to the Space Coast, we're creating the ideal ecosystem for the convergence of ideas and the people who generate them. Fueled by the University of South Florida, which graduates more MIS talent than any other American university, the corridor's highly skilled work force is 3 million strong. What's more, our low cost of living and abundant leisure activities attract nearly 30,000 new workers to the region each year. Successful companies like K-Byte/Reprton, Teflectone, Hi-Stat Manufacturing, Jabil Circuit and Honeywell Avionics have already made their homes. And more are on the way.

So if you're seeking an environment with a great climate for high-tech business, move in our direction. Want a head start? Just call 1-800-556-9316 or visit the web site at tampabay.org for a Business Directory see http://tampa.zip2.com While the Sarasota -Bradenton market earned top billing for the second consecutive year. Careers range from high-tech (Tampa Bay has 60 percent of Florida's high tech companies) to management and entry-level positions. Each of Tampa Bay's counties, from Sarasota and Manatee counties to the south, Polk County to the east, Pasco and Hernando to the north, and Hillsborough an Pinellas in the heart, is a healthy, thriving component of an area that's decidedly upscale in the pursuits of business and pleasure.

The bottom-line? You can have a great job and an affordable home and still have money and time left over to do the fun stuff. And the fun stuff jus keeps growing. In just the past year, Major League Baseball's Tampa Bay Devil Rays began play, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers got off to a fresh start in their new, state-of the art stadium. For even more diversion and family fun, several new, multi-million dollar "retail entertainment " centers have begun development. Even high-end fashion got a boost with the opening of Tampa's Saks Fifth Avenue. A Neiman Marcus, Lord & Taylor and Nordstrom are on the horizon.

The best part may be that all this variety is within minutes of the region's residential hubs. Fast-moving interstate highways and expressways connect Tampa Bay, making the average work commute among the nation's shortest for major metropolitan areas. Residents can choose a home in any setting, from beach to country, and still be within minutes of urban business and pleasure.

So it's no wonder that with more than three million residents (and counting), Tampa Bay is one of the nation's fastest-growing major metropolitan areas, You want it we've got it. Enjoy the water? Then Live on one of the white sand beaches that sprawl along the coast, or pick a bay or inlet that cuts into the area's interior. Waterfront homes in Tampa Bay are surprisingly affordable.

If you prefer to just visit the beach, there are dozens to lounge on and watch the sin sink into the Gulf of Mexico. Two of those beaches, Caladesi Island and Fort DeSoto Park, are consistently recognized as two of the country's top ten beaches. Like game of golf now ant then? There are more than 175 golf courses in the area, including the sites of several professional tour events. Golf course communities are the norm in Tampa Bay, so you can even choose to live on your favorite course.

How about ball games? The newest pro tam to hit Tampa Bay is the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, one of the two newest expansion team's 81 home games draw fans in droves to St. Petersburg's Tropicana Field. Then of course there's the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, our NFL team that fought its way to respectability and into the 1997 playoffs. The team's 1998 season kicked off in the brand new, luxurious Raymond James Stadium- complete with signature 1800's pirate village and 103-foot pirate ship.

The Bucs share the stadium with the region's first Division 1 college football team, the University of South Florida Bulls. The $192 million stadium will also host the 2001 Super Bowl. Hockey fans can check out the National Hockey League's Tampa Bay Lightning in their glass-fronted Ice Palace in downtown Tampa, while soccer fans will get a kick out of the Tampa Bay Mutiny, a major league team.

For a cultural fix, Tampa Bay offers everything form opera and orchestras to Flamenco dancing and gallery hops. Performing arts centers dot the entire region, form the Lakeland Center in Polk County to the celebrated Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota. To catch a Broadway show or hear the Florida Orchestra, there's Sarasota's Asolo Theater, Pinellas County's Ruth Eckerd Hall, and Bayfront Center's Mahaffey Theater or the Tampa bay Performing arts center (the Largest in the Southeast).

To sample a stronger beat, wander down to Tampa's ybor city, where jazz a and rock vibrate out onto the street form dozens of different clubs, and Flamenco dancers stomp to nightly shows within the historic Columbia restaurant. The district will soon have a flash new retail complex. Centro Ybor which will include a 20 screen movie theater, dozen of shops, bars and club, and Steven Spielberg's GameWork- with everything from traditional arcade games to virtual-realty booths.

To appreciate great works of art, visit St. Petersburg's Dali Museum, one of the best collections of the surrealist painter. If architecture is more to you taste, then take a look at Sarasota's pink Italian Renaissance villa built by entrepreneur John Ringling to house his personal art collection or visit his 30-room winter home on Sarasota Bay, the Ca'd'Zan.

Frank Lloyd Wright also left his mark on Tampa Bay, designing the buildings of Florida Southern College in Lakeland. Speaking of colleges, Tampa Bay has lots of opportunities for continuing education. In addition to Florida Southern, there is the University of Tampa located downtown and the University of South Florida (one of the state's top three research institutions) which has its main campus in north Tampa.

Other USF branches are in Lakeland, Sarasota, and St. Petersburg. USF's New College in Sarasota is perennially selected by Money Magazine as one of the best buys in higher education. The Tampa Bay area itself could be deemed a best buy. The cost of living here is among the lowest of major metropolitan areas. Florida's tax system is among the most advantageous, from a business perspective, in the United States, and the state is one of only a few in the Southeast with no personal income tax. So what are you waiting for? You know what you want. And you know we've got it.

 

 

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