St. Petersburg, Flordia Gay Resort Sues County For Discrimination


In an interesting legal kerfuffle, a St. Petersburg, Florida Resort has sued Pinellas County, questioning the line between niche markets and discrimination, according to The Tampa Bay Times. Representatives from the hotel in question, The Flamingo Resort (pictured), are claiming that the establishment's tax bill is too high, and that this is because they cater to a gay clientele.

Pinellas Property Appraiser Pam Dubov is familiar with a previous complaint of The Flamingo Resort's, and she doubts the validity of this new one. Said Dubov: "I categorically deny that we have any intent toward discrimination against the gay and lesbian community."

Dubov gives an example of how appraisers ballpark a property's value. For example, a restaurant that markets itself to small children might do less business, but it does not change the value of the property where the restaurant sits. In the example of The Flamingo Resort, the establishment took in $673,222 in 2012, but the property appraiser calculated a potential $1.1 million

The reasons given for this valuation were numerous. The building is old and requires considerable maintenance, there have been no renovations on the resort since construction, and the Flamingo operates under a 28 percent occupancy rate. According to the board records, the representative is specifically quoted as saying the hotel is "functionally obsolete" because of "the substandard location, and older furniture, fixtures and equipment that cannot be updated."

The board is also quoted as saying "It is difficult to determine whether or not this property could generate more net operating income if it did not appeal to a niche market."


  1. Robert says

    Basically, the charges leveled against the board are correct then. As much as I love the bay area, this is not surprising considering the conservative trash that keeps getting elected by the yankee retirees and self-entitled yuppies.

  2. woody says

    I’ve been there. It’s a worn, aging property. But it was fun. sunny. nice pool. smallish crowd was good lookin’ and charming.

  3. Wisebear says

    It’s a dump. It’s worthless without the gay affiliation. Whatever they currently bring in is the maximum that property can produce.

  4. Steve says

    It’s sad that the local board rather have the property sit abandoned than generate some revenue. Some is better than none after all.

  5. Jonathan Oz says

    The tax assessment seems to depend upon an judgment of what the property’s value might be if use of the land were optimized. Seems a tad odd to me. Short of knowing whether this sort of assessment was typical for similar properties (a topic not touched upon in the story), we have no way of knowing whether this reflected discrimination or a poor choice of words. Not every action against a gay establishment is necessarily discriminatory.

  6. azm says

    Since when does a property tax get assessed on the “potential” income of a business? Taxes are based, in my understanding, on the value of the physical property and fixtures as they exist and the comps of adjacent properties. I also question the owners motives here, since I own a business and if it were only doing 28% of it’s maximum potential, I would consider ways to increase that revenue. I can’t believe that given the area and climate, you can’t at least come up with 50% occupancy. Given the comments by some here who have knowledge of this place, it appears the owners are letting this place die slowly…too bad…our community still needs places that cater to us exclusively.

  7. olympiasepiriot says

    @ AZM, the property taxes I pay are based on a fiction known as “highest and best use” which seems to be tempered with a context of general economic conditions of the area. So, if there was a burst of development when land like mine was being built on with McMansions, my property taxes would go up even though I wasn’t developing it. I gather this is common around the country.