Chris Alahouzos, Tarpon Springs‘ first Greek-born mayor has been serving in his position for just over a year and he is gearing up to make good on his campaign promises to attract private investors to develop, construct, and operate a bona fide hotel in the Gulf Coast town located just 45 minutes north of St. Petersburg.
Tarpon Springs, known for its Greek heritage, has the highest percentage of Greek-Americans of any city in the U.S. according to the country’s census.
The beautiful waterfront was first explored by Greek sponge divers in the early 1900s when they arrived after the discovery of natural sponge beds and settled in Tarpon Springs.
Back then as well as in current times, one of the main attractions of Tarpon Springs is the famous Sponge Docks, which are set along the Anclote River where Dodecanese Boulevard runs alongside.
Alahouzos’ plan is to develop a bona fide hotel to attract more tourists to stay over night in the coastal town, instead of just making it a day trip on their itinerary. According to tornosnews.gr, he said that if tourists want to stay the night that there are only a couple of quaint bed-and-breakfasts, a couple of low-budget motels, and some private homes for rent via websites such as AirBnB and Homeway. But the town is lacking an actual hotel close enough to walk to the famous Sponge Docks, beaches, and all of the other attractions that attract people from all over the globe to visit Tarpon Springs.