TAMPA - With the fences and security gone in downtown Tampa, today was moving-back-in day for many businesses.
"It took us several days to move out." Karen Matches, who works downtown would tell me, "It will take us several days to move back."
At the County Building alone, they are coordinating the return of close to 1,500 employees. The employees are coming back in phases over the course of the week.
Willie Puz, who works with the county, would sum it up this way, "It's business as usually the way business should be."
For restaurant owners like Jeffrey Morzella, who operates Fresh on Franklin St., business as usual is more than welcome because when the RNC was here it was anything but.
Morzella says he ran at only 20% of what he normally does, adding, "When you over-staff and over-cook it makes it really bad. We had to throw out a lot of product and I had to pay a lot more employees than I usually do. So it's put a knife right in us."
Those we spoke to who work downtown at the numerous offices didn't seem to mind the RNC break, but were happy it was over and things were back to normal, for the most part.
Lael Arango did point out one aromatic problem, "I think that makes a pretty bad impression when people are trying to walk to eat and they're smelling the trash from last week."
What most won't see, but will probably take the longest to get back to normal, is the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Now that the RNC has vacated their building, the building has to be re-transformed back to the way it was.
Inside, you can actually still see confetti falling as they take down the scaffolding, refit the luxury suites, and put back the seats.
According to Lightning COO Steve Griggs, "It will take about two to three weeks and they'll phase through certain parts of the building. But hopefully they quickly will move the floor off because that's our biggest challenge, putting up the brand new scoreboard in the next three weeks."
But for most, the best part of the RNC being over and done, is that you can drive through the downtown core without running into a fence or heavily armed law enforcement personnel.
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There is only a 20% chance for an afternoon shower or storm. The possibility for rain will go down even more by Friday.