Tarpon Springs hopes to boost tourism over summer

TARPON SPRINGS, Fla. (WFLA) – Leaders in this tiny city in Pinellas County are trying to lure in visitors.

But, they’re faced with stiff competition between St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Tampa and Orlando.

“We’re a small city, so financially, it’s hard to do some major advertising,” said David Gauchman of the Tarpon Springs Merchants Association.

Instead, city leaders hope the city’s appeal sells itself.

It’s known for its historic sponge docks, where fishermen work daily, collecting the famous sponges.

Its historic downtown is also a draw, a place lined with tiny shops, stores and restaurants.

“Business is good. Business is fine. It’s just, we want a little more,” Gauchman said.

The hope is to spread the word to those visiting Florida over the summer months in order to drum up the tourism base here.

“Historically, it’s been around for years and years,” said Carol Rodriguez of the Merchants Association. “It’s well-known. People like to come.”

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