By Tina Altman

Getting my feet wet again by going to a recent site visit in Tampa ahead of the 2021 IPMI Parking & Mobility Conference & Expo felt so good! Time to dust off the suitcase and get back to some type of normalcy. The airport and flight had a sea of covered faces and were uneventful, thank goodness.

I stayed away from the limos and stuck with the less expense ride option to the hotel. Pick up was quick and easy, I had to put my luggage in the car but I’m no diva so it’s all good. The vehicle was an older, clean Honda Pilot and as much as I love all eras of music, the ‘70s vibe playing with a static background had me trying to reach up to adjust the tuning. Finally, at what I thought was my destination, I grabbed my luggage and thanked the driver, walked into the Marriott to check in, and learned I was dropped at the wrong one! Luckily, the right hotel—the JW Marriott—is right across the street, so no biggie. Clearly, Uber drivers are unaware of the new Marriott location.

Here are some more Tampa tips for your visit:

  • The airport is less than 20 minutes from our hotel. Tampa International Airport ground transportation information can be found here.
  • The JW Marriott is still fairly new. If you get to the Marriott with the water fountain in front, be sure to tell your driver you are going to the new JW Marriott, not the Marriott Water Street. They are adjacent to each other.
  • Tampa weather in December is usually in the high 80s/low 60s  but nights can be cooler. Remember how chilly conference centers can be? Dress in layers and choose comfort over stylish shoes—your feet are just getting back into the swing of things too!
  • Our space for the Conference is stacked from the second to the fourth floors, with escalators & elevators very nearby for ease.
  • There are plenty of options for food. In the main lobby of the hotel is a Market Place for coffee and lite fare and you’ll also find a bar, a restaurant for breakfast, and a walk-up window for sandwiches right outside. You can also take the skybridge to the Marriott Water Street to dine in. More info on dining at the Marriott can be found here.
  • The sixth floor of our hotel has a spa and gym along with a bar/restaurant with an outside open area.
  • There are a few Starbucks within walking distance.
  • The TECO Streetcar runs right through the area and is free! Check out the map of stops here.
  • There is lots to see and do in Tampa, with plenty of museums and an aquarium right up the street.
  • Be sure to book your hotel room right away! These rooms will sell out fast!

We can’t wait to see you this fall.

Tina Altman is IPMI’s manager, member and event services.