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Posted: 10:51 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012
By Gene Wexler
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. —
Some downtown Jacksonville businesses are expecting a boost from this weekend’s Florida-Georgia activities.
“As far as business-wise, I think the whole city is going to do great,” said Landing owner Toney Sleiman.
He’s expecting a lot of people and thinks more will show up this year because both the Gators (7-0) and the Bulldogs (6-1) have exceptional records coming into this weekend.
“So I think the fans know that and are excited about it,” Sleiman said.
He says, just like last year, parking will be hard to come by downtown, especially if fans don’t get there early.
“I would recommend a cab, absolutely,” he said.
He says they’re hosting music in the courtyard and on Hogan St where they’re setting up another stage. All of the bars at the Landing will be holding their own celebrations for the game.
Last year, the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront didn’t sell out of rooms. According to Sleiman, none of the downtown hotels sold out last year.
But this year may be different.
“I would say demand is up easy twenty to thirty percent higher than last year,” said Pat Trammell, Senior Director of Sales and Marketing at the Hyatt downtown.
They’re not sold out, but Trammell says they’re “very, very close.”
“And we anticipate that we will be [sold out] by Thursday, maybe a few limited rooms available for walk-in on Friday,” she said.
Trammell says they won’t have any events happening in the ballroom this year.
“We found with the development downtown, that people really want to be out and partying and enjoying themselves outside at the Landing or any of the number of clubs on Bay Street,” Trammell said.
The Hyatt has turned its Plaza Room, adjacent to the lobby, into a sports bar with outside entertainment, food and beverage.
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