What’s in a name? While Hotel Alba stands as a unique and arts-centered meeting ground for travelers to explore the vibrant Tampa community, our name goes further into the cultural roots that make Tampa, Florida what it is today. ‘Alba’ is a historic nod to the boom of the cigar industry here in Tampa during the late 1800s, started by Cuban immigrants. To avoid the high tariff on products from Havana, cigar manufactures had the idea of making authentic Cuban cigars in the US instead. By the early 20th century, there were 150 factories around Tampa, with more than 10,000 workers from Cuba, Spain, and Italy. To boost morale and keep spirits high, workers would nominate a fellow worker to be the ‘lector,’ who would read aloud during the work day to help pass the time. With reading options including fiction, nonfiction, news, and pro-union material, the cigar workers felt connected and strengthened in their voice against corporations. That transformative union welcomed in the economic wealth and rich culture that has made Tampa an inviting and exciting place for all who live, and visit, here.