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MIAMI: Guy Harvey plans new resort in St. Petersburg

MIAMI - The 211-suite TradeWinds Sandpiper Suites in St. Petersburg Beach, Fla., will undergo a $3 million renovation to become a Guy Harvey Outpost, the first in the United States, the marine artist said Thursday at the Miami International Boat Show.

The beach resort will have a surf school, eco tours, wakeboarding, a floating water park with a three–story inflatable slide, a Guy Harvey restaurant and a focus on fly, inshore and offshore fishing, said Keith Overton, president of TradeWinds Island Resorts. He said the resort will work closely with nearby Loggerhead Marina to accommodate boaters and anglers.

“Tampa Bay is the most popular boating destination in Florida for boating sports,” he said.

The Outpost will highlight the fisheries of Tampa Bay. The bay’s fishing “is kind of a well-kept secret,” Overton said. “We believe fishing in Tampa Bay is as good as anyplace else in Florida.”

The resort has been designated a “green lodge” by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. All of the lighting on the property has been retrofitted with muted lights so it doesn’t interfere with nesting turtles.

Overton said 38 percent of the conventions at the resort bring groups involved in environmental research and education. Harvey, who has close ties to research at the University of South Florida in Tampa, said TradeWinds will have a conservation theater and science center and host marine research projects.

“That is an important dimension of what our two companies and organizations are all about,” Harvey said. He expects the new outpost to be completed in 2013.

Other outposts are on Rum Key and at the Big Game Club on Bimini in the Bahamas.

— Jim Flannery

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