ST. PETERSBURG | The Flamingo Resort will close at its current location July 31 after serving Tampa Bay’s LGBTQ community for more than 10 years.
Speculation about Flamingo’s closure began July 20, when full service auction company Bay Area Auction Services Inc. posted a yard sign on resort property. It advertised an “absolute auction, everything goes” sale for Aug. 6 and was removed after attracting attention on social media.
Flamingo General Manager Jon Jusino subsequently addressed the news that evening during Showtime Saturdays, the resort’s weekly drag production. “I wanted to clarify and let everyone know what’s going on,” he shared. “The Flamingo has the opportunity to redevelop. With that being said, this property will be turned into an apartment complex and then they would move Flamingo to another location.
“That location hasn’t been disclosed and no one really knows where it’s going to be,” Jusino continued, “so whether it’s three months from now that we open up a new location [or] a year from now, I have no clue … Flamingo will be closing as of this July; July 31st will be the last day that we will be open.”
According to public documentation filed with the City of St. Petersburg, development permits for the Flamingo’s location at 4601 34th St. S. were submitted in Oct. 2018. A site permit covering utilities, retention, parking and landscaping was approved in June 2019.
Another permit for the foundation of an eight-story, 245-unit apartment building was approved at the beginning of July. Permits for the foundation of a parking garage and the apartment building itself have been submitted but not yet approved. The city has no permit on file for the resort’s demolition.
Broadcasting from Flamingo via Gay Safe Haven Radio July 22, Jusino once again confirmed the July 31 closure and Aug. 6 auction. He further noted that the Flamingo’s current owners will own the incoming apartments and that they “will be looking for a property that’s very similar to this so that we can reestablish the Flamingo and the entertainment and everything that we do enjoy here.”
Jusino subsequently thanked Flamingo’s patrons and partners, praising the many employees who have maintained the resort’s 128 rooms, six themed bars, weekly events and productions. He noted that July 28 will be the final Sunday Tea Dance, the resort’s popular poolside party, calling on the community to attend and say goodbye.
“It’s going to be everything that you all imagined,” he shared. “As general manager, as entertainment director, I will make this place bigger and better on that one day than you all have ever had. I look forward to seeing every single one of you here.”
You can view the full announcement below: