SBD/3/Facilities Venues

DESPITE CATCHIN' RAYS, NO BOFFO BIZ ON STREETS OF ST. PETE

          With the Devil Rays playing their inaugural season at
     the Thunder Dome's Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, a
     "handful of new businesses are popping up on the main drags
     surrounding the hulking Dome," according to Kris Hundley of
     the ST. PETERSBURG TIMES.  The business owners "are hinging
     their hopes on the start of major league baseball on March
     31."  Hundley: "Despite the enthusiasm of these
     entrepreneurs, the lure of big bucks has hardly sparked a
     gold rush in the area.  Empty lots and rundown garages
     sporting 'For Lease' banners still dominate what might be
     considered prime territory around the Dome.  No big hotels
     or major restaurant chains have nailed down sites in the
     neighborhood."  Hundley also profiled four of the new
     businesses around the Dome (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 3/2).

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