For Booking Acts Into Tampa Hotels, He Applies The Gold Standard
Courtesy Visit Tampa Bay – Tampa Bay Syline
Entertainment Travel, based in Nashville, specializes in putting bands on the road for tours. And for Nick Gold, who founded the company in 1985, every tour is different.
“From an accommodation point of view there are three main things we look at: obviously, the band and its budget; the location from the hotel to the venue; and the service at the hotel being what the band is looking for,” Gold said. “I’m not going to take an A-listed act and put them in a Holiday Inn (and) I’m not going to put a club act at the Ritz-Carlton.”
Fortunately for Gold and bands he tours through Tampa-St. Pete, he’s got plenty of options, but he names the Westin Tampa Bay, the Tampa Marriott on Water Street and the Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk as his go-to properties.
“Those are the main ones I go to, but that doesn’t mean they’re the only ones I go to. They specialize in entertainment and even some of my small acts, relative to what’s going on in the city, it’s (possible) that they could give me a rate that would work for a budgeted band. So, I’ll always try them initially to see if that works because then they are getting a really good property for a low rate, and so why not?” Gold said. “If you can get into a Sheraton with a really Holiday Inn band, well then, they’re living large on the road. If the budget’s the same because it happens to be a good time to go into that hotel, then it’s a win-win.
“Once I’ve looked at the band, looked at the budget, looked at where the show is, then I’m going to work through that series of hotels based on those three criteria,” Gold said.
Special requests — from pet friendly hotels to 24-hour room service or an all night gym — are common, and again, the Tampa Bay area has options to satisfy all such needs.
Aside from new health and safety protocols prompted by the pandemic, which Gold expects to remain in place “easily through 2022” and possibly beyond, Gold said smokers have been getting squeezed at all properties over the last decade at the same time that more acts are seeking things like ready access to health clubs. In that regard, the mild climate in Tampa offers a number of outdoor options for health and recreational activities for those with any spare time available, he says.
“I have had some tours that have requested the closest vegan restaurants,” Gold said. “I have various different food types.”
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