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It's a Good Morning to be in St. Pete Beach

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Posted at 12:24 PM, Nov 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-11 12:24:07-05

At ABC Action News, we know it's the combination of all the communities that make Tampa Bay great to live in. That's why we've started a new series of reporting highlighting good things happening around town, discovering cool gems you may not know about, and uncovering the big news events impacting those areas.

On Friday, the Good Morning Tampa Bay team focused on St. Pete Beach.

Complete Coverage: GMTB Local Spotlight

Local couple opens unique business on St. Pete Beach

Peter and Lindsay Gottschling wanted to open something new and unique on St. Pete Beach.

That's when they landed on The Grove Surf and Coffee Co. It's a mixed-use environment with coffee and retail surf wear.

Guests continue to flock to Tradewinds Island Grand Resort

A trip to Tradewinds' Island Grand Resort is fun for the whole family.

You'll find a whole list of activities from paddle boats and kayaking to arts and crafts for the kids.

Travelers have been flocking to St. Pete Beach, and Tradewinds is definitely feeling the impacts.

Suntan Art Center bringing back events on St. Pete Beach

After halting classes for much of the pandemic, a St. Pete Beach non-profit is back open and ready for business.

Artists in the area call the Suntan Art Center home, teaching classes for adults and kids.

They have classes for all kinds of mediums from drawing and painting with oils to learning glass art.

St. Pete Beach paves way for new hotels as sewer work continues

It was recently named the best beach in the USA, and yet, St. Pete Beach’s growth has been stunted for years. For seven years, St. Pete Beach has had a moratorium on new construction that would add capacity to the island because the sewage and wastewater system couldn’t handle the increased capacity.

Now, work is underway to overhaul the sewage system, and St. Pete Beach Mayor Al Johnson said 10-12 hotels have expressed desires to build or expand in the beach community.

Postcard Inn gearing up for holiday events

Its history began as a surf lodge but today you'll know it as the Postcard Inn on St. Pete Beach.

The hotel has made a few changes over the past year, including new staff and a renewed focus on guest experiences.

Signs going up around St. Pete Beach to promote beach clean-ups

There's a brand new effort here in St. Pete Beach to make sure the beaches stay clean.

New signs will be going up in the next few weeks at public beach entrances in the city. Visitors will be able to scan the QR code and see when and where upcoming beach clean-ups are.

New projects starting to ramp up on St. Pete Beach

Now that the moratorium on development in St. Pete Beach is over, you may start to see some construction activity in the future.

The city says plans are moving forward for a mixed-use development on Corey Avenue and other beautification projects.

St. Pete Beach adds new paddleboard rental stations

The next time you head to St. Pete Beach, you’ll have a fun new option to try.

St. Pete Beach opened four fully automated paddleboard rental stations on Tuesday, October 12.

Businesses find success on Corey Avenue in St. Pete Beach

"I have seen this community grow so much with all the construction and the roads being finished. And we're just really excited for the holidays coming up and all the new stuff going down at the end," said Lindsay Miller-Madril, Owner of the London Hair and Spa on St. Pete Beach's Corey Avenue.

There's no doubt that people are flocking to Corey Avenue. The streets were busy both afternoons we visited.

"You're never going to find the kind of people that are committed to supporting — I don't want to cry — but small businesses the way that these people just come and they sit here and they deal with your ups and downs and they go through pandemics and they see construction and they parked behind the back and they still come in they support," Miller-Madril said. "It is the people of St Pete Beach that make this place a beautiful place and I wouldn't call any other place home."

You can swim with the fish at St. Pete Beach's RumFish Grill

On St. Pete Beach you can swim with the fish over at RumFish Grill.

The massive tank in the middle of the restaurant is actually something you can snorkel in.

The program is thanks to the restaurant's partnership with the Marine Exploration Center.

Corey Avenue Market finds success in St. Pete Beach

All across Tampa Bay you'll find weekend markets and the one in St. Pete Beach on Corey Avenue is now year-round every Sunday.

You'll find around 70 vendors lined up along Corey Avenue and Blind Pass from local artists, produce to live music and good food.

New owners re-open La Croisette with some new additions

A couple in St. Pete Beach took a local restaurant and gave it new life.
Natalie Roche and her husband Mickael recently revived La Croisette — a St. Pete Beach classic

Construction begins at The Beach Theatre in St. Pete Beach

Just after purchasing the Historic Corey Avenue Beach Theatre, owner Christopher Scott took ABC Action News inside.

"It was dark. There's no power in the building at the moment. The AC wasn't working. There's obviously a musty smell because nobody's been in the building since 2012 2012. Yes. Oh my god”," said Scott.

Gulf Beaches Historical Museum takes you through St. Pete Beach history

Unlike many portions of Tampa Bay, the St. Pete Beach area didn't really start to boom until the 1920s.

Fun fact: St. Pete Beach was originally called Long Key.

Living in the area was difficult — storms, mosquitoes and a lack of air conditions made conditions rough.

St. Pete Beach Library gets an upgrade

The newly renovated St. Pete Beach library has a little something for everyone.

While still keeping its historic look, the library recently got a much-needed upgrade but with new mid-century modern items.

The library added back programs to make sure everyone has access to things they need.

Visitors retreat to the historic Don Cesar hotel during the pandemic

The Legendary Pink Palace opened in 1928 and has seen its fair share of celebrity guests, from F. Scott Fitzgerald to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

The hotel now sits on the National Register of Historic Places but inside it's keeping up with the times.

Some neighbors concerned over possible hotel development in Pass a Grille

The plan is to tear down an old, pink, apartment building on the corner of 8th Avenue and Pass a Grille Way and build a hotel facing the water.

“The most important thing was the shock that we felt when we saw the size of the building, the size, mass, and scale and so we were shocked,” said Jackson.

Jackson and others created a non-profit group called Friends of Pass a Grille to help fight to persevere 8th Avenue.

She believes the current development plans for this project show the hotel being built too big.