(photo by View of the World)
Whether the Steelers or the Cardinals win the Super Bowl remains to be seen. But it's clear who the big losers are: Tampa hotels and businesses hoping to rake it in this weekend.
USA Today reported today that the mood in Tampa is subdued and the streets are basically empty. The depressed economy is trumping football fever. Pinellas County beach hotels expect flat or below-normal occupancy rates this weekend, according to the St. Petersburg Times. The article goes on to say that another reason for the low bookings could be attributed to a false rumor that the Tampa hotels were sold out and that the closest fans could hope for was Orlando.
And the weather isn't helping — it's only 61 degrees in Tampa right now. That's not warm enough to get the Pittsburgh folks excited and it's cool enough to have the Arizonians shivering in their jackets.
Pittsburgh, not normally a vacation destination this time of year (or any), has actually seen a surge in hotel bookings, says MSNBC, because people who live within driving distance of the city are coming in to watch the game and party. But those who are up for a longer drive may want to consider heading to Tampa — they'll be very happy to see you.