The reason remains a mystery because the Hilton Tampa Downtown, which hosted the convention for several years, the Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront, which will be the convention’s new home come August, and Fetish Con have declined to explain.
The only insight offered comes from a Dec. 27 post on the Fetish Con Facebook page: “After nine (9) years in downtown Tampa, we felt that with the new management at the hotel came a new mind-set, one which did not work with our vision for the future of Fetish Con. So with that being said, we are moving!”
When asked about what those differences might be, Fetish Con founder Genesis Lynn responded, “No comment at this time,” citing legal advice.
Tampa’s tourism arm, Visit Tampa Bay, was never directly involved with Fetish Con and had no involvement in the decision to move, according to Kevin Wiatrowski, regional media relations coordinator for the agency.
“We’re sorry to see them leave downtown after so many years, but we’re glad they’ve decided to stay in the Tampa Bay area. We wish them luck in their new location,” he wrote in an email.
Fetish Con moved from New York to Tampa in its fourth year, and in 2006 found a home in the downtown Tampa hotel, then called the Hyatt Regency Tampa, offering a trade show featuring fetish models, erotica authors, adult film directors, sex toy vendors and workshops with titles like “Wax Play: Hot Fun for Everyone” and “Pain is for Pleasure, Not for Injury.”
Organizers aimed to stay ahead