I stopped in Clearwater today - in the area on business. I hung out in front of the Ft. Harrison for awhile. Took some photos & texted to friends & relations.
I noticed I was noticed while walking around... folks running around in vests on the street would stop talking and look at me. Those speaking other than English would continue talking in their native tongue. No one said hello or made direct eye contact for more than a very brief second.
Security was "watching" me while "not watching me". No one approached me but they were very aware of me. Obvious I had a "smarter than me phone" and was texting photos. While walking back to my car parked in a public lot behind the Ft. Harrison I flipped off a security camera covering the sidewalk.
The last time I was here was in '82-'83. Everyone was welcome and you walked in and out of the Ft. Harrison as you pleased. Not now. Nothing welcoming the general public or any kind of information available that I saw. The people on the street did not look very peppy... just focused and serious.
I went to the beach... mind you it is spring break and people from all over the country are in town. No advertisements, handouts, billboards... NOTHING announcing you are in the promised land of sciobots. NO "WTH" materials being handed out while I was there. No ads on the trolleys.
In my opinion no way in hell they will do anything positive for downtown... but what do I know.