SOURCE: Marriott International

Marriott International

July 02, 2012 12:58 ET

Historic Elephant Joins Display at Downtown Tampa Hotel for Republican National Convention

Red, White and Blue Pachyderm Joins in Artistic Tribute to GOP Visit to Tampa

TAMPA, FL--(Marketwire - Jul 2, 2012) - Returning to the forefront of the Republican National Convention, a red, white and blue elephant sculpture featured at the 1996 GOP Convention in San Diego is coming out of retirement and will be taking up residence in the lobby of an opulent Tampa waterfront hotel, to welcome Republicans as they gather August 27-30 for their 2012 caucus.

Joining Tampa's "Herd About Tampa Bay" community art exhibit, the patriotic pachyderm has been in a private collection in San Diego since the 1996 Convention and is making the 2,430 mile journey to take its place on the red carpet of the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel in Tampa, Florida throughout the month of August. Conveniently located directly behind the Tampa Bay Times Forum, site of the 2012 Republican National Convention, the Marriott welcomed the opportunity to display the sculpture so convention attendees can admire the historic piece, have their photo taken with it and even have the opportunity to buy the artwork.

"Our property is going to be the hub of activity during the Convention," said Mike Falconer, marketing director for the downtown Tampa hotel. "It wasn't a difficult decision to have the elephant here at the Marriott."

"Acquiring such a storied piece of GOP Convention history was really a coup," noted Jay Goulde, executive director of Tampa's Outdoor Arts Foundation (OAF). "We're very excited to have it on display at the Marriott Waterside for this year's convention."

The OAF collaborated with the 2012 Tampa Bay Host Committee for the Republican National Convention to acquire the elephant, which is scheduled to arrive in Tampa Bay on Tuesday, July 17. A formal unveiling will be held in the lobby of the Marriott's hotel near Port of Tampa in early August. A silent auction will be ongoing throughout the month with the high bidder earning ownership of the famous piece.

The huge freestanding Republican mascot will lead the herd of elephants making their debut throughout Tampa as 4' x 4' fiberglass elephant sculptures, sponsored by area businesses and painted by local artists, dot the city in celebration of the Republicans 2012 visit to Tampa.

About the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina
The Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina is a luxury hotel dominating the Channelside District with luxurious accommodations and grand event space. Located along the Channel Riverwalk, guests of this pristine hotel enjoy waterside views from many locations within the property, whether dining at Café Waterside, hosting events in one of the hotel's many event venues or enjoying the comforts of the 719 spacious guest rooms and opulent hotel suites. Offering 50,000 square feet of state-of-the-art event space, professional catering and a staff of dedicated event managers the hotel is an ideal choice for first class business and social affairs.

Contact Information

    Kristi Bennett
    Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina
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