TARPON SPRINGS — Miss last weekend’s sales tax holiday? No worries. A sizeable contingent of Tarpon Springs businesses has your back. To celebrate the long-awaited reopening of Keystone Road, 45 businesses of various sorts are coming together to offer four weekends worth of potential savings. The promotional event is a collaborative effort among the business community and the city as a way to help direct potential customers back to the area after years of congestion affected access or visibility to numerous storefronts.
With travel east-and westbound travel considerably eased, City Manager Mark LeCouris wrote in a memo to city commissioners, the Keystone Road Re-Opening Promotion is designed to help “encourage patronage of our businesses” along the corridor. The promotions officially begin this Saturday and Sunday and continue each weekend until Aug. 31-Sept. 2. Deals include discounts on services, food and beverages, hotel stays, merchandise, auto repairs and more. Tarpon Springs Chamber of Commerce President Sue Thomas said Monday afternoon that this will be a good first step in bringing back consumers who may have gotten used to circumventing the area because of the prolonged construction. “It took a lot of business away from us because people used to trot right down Keystone and into Tarpon,” she said. “Since that’s been going on we have so many new businesses now, about 10-12, and some people don’t know about many.” Motorists traveling along Keystone Road into Tarpon Springs will be able to get acquainted with these new storefronts as well as preexisting ones, Thomas said. “This is something we can do to let people know we are alive and well and have all these new businesses they need to check out. And the older established businesses would like to see them, too.” Pinellas County’s Keystone Road Widening Project focused on, among other things, expanding the roughly three-mile stretch of road between U.S. 19 and East Lake Road from two to four lanes. Road closures and construction work began in July 2010.