Shutdown impacts Tampa convention business - WFLA News Channel 8

Shutdown impacts Tampa convention business

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The federal government shutdown is now having an impact on Tampa's convention business. The Tampa Convention Center was scheduled as the location for the tenth annual GEOINT 2013 Symposium.

The symposium is put on by the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation and would have brought more than four thousand attendees to Tampa for the event that was scheduled to begin Oct. 13.

Now just days away, the symposium has been postponed.

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USGIF CEO Keith Masback mentions "language in the Pay Our Military Act, which allowed most Defense Department personnel to return to their jobs alongside the excepted personnel who were still working. However, the act also included language that has made it impossible for personnel to travel."

Masback says he hopes to reschedule the symposium for the spring in Tampa.

However the cancellation just days away from the event is having an impact on hotels and restaurants.

One worker outside of the Tampa convention center, who did not want to be named, said, "That's going to cost me my job."

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn worked to bring the symposium to Tampa and puts the blame for the cancellation on Congress.

Buckhorn says, "This is not some intellectual debate, this is affecting real people who have nothing to do with this, this is not their fight, this is a bunch of tea partiers who are trying to make a point, holding the United States government hostage."
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