For over 20 years, the Floridan Hotel in Downtown Tampa has sat vacant, a ghost of what it once was. Come Saturday, July 28, this will be no more as the historic Tampa hotel begins a second life as a brand-new Downtown hotel called The Floridan Palace.
Just in time for the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, the Floridan Palace will open with 196 rooms, two penthouse suites, and 15 junior executive suites. In addition, the hotel will also feature a restaurant called the Crystal Dining Room which will serve Mediterranean and continental cuisine, a 10,000-square-foot ballroom for private events, and a bar called the Sapphire Lounge which will serve a martini popular in the hotel’s golden age called “Between the Sheets” according to Tampa Bay Online.
The Floridan Hotel was built in the 1920′s with 19 floors, 316 rooms, and a construction cost of $1.9 million. At the time of its construction, the Floridan Hotel was the tallest building in Tampa and an indicator of the affluence of the city at the time.
The hotel experienced an extended golden age throughout World War II and attracted a variety of famous figures including Gary Cooper and The King himself, Elvis Presley. When the 1960′s came, the Floridan Hotel fell to the wayside of more convenient hotels near the highway and eventually turned into a long-term rental apartment before closing indefinitely in 1989.
It sat dormant, switching ownership until hotelier and real-estate investor Antonios Markopoulos bought it in 2005 for $6 Million. Since then, Markopoulos and company have been working tirelessly to restore the hotel into the Floridan Palace it is today.