Port welcomes with Exploration Tower

Officials finalize name as Exploration Tower at Port Canaveral

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The-yet-to-be-named tower at Port Canaveral sits illuminated by floodlights with a nearly full moon in the background.

PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. - Port Canaveral's welcome center tower has a name: Exploration Tower at Port Canaveral.

Port officials finalized the name on Thursday, in advance of the structure's grand opening next month, Local 6 News partner Florida Today reported.

Tim Macy, Port Canaveral's deputy executive director for infrastructure, real estate development and recreation, said a number of names were kicked around for the seven-story building that combines exhibitions and events space with an observation tower.

The port enlisted the public's help through two online surveys, in which the most popular selections were The Spinnaker and The Wave. But it turned out that other businesses had rights to those names and websites, so the port looked for other options.

"We had to punt a little bit," Macy said. "The best-laid plans go astray, sometimes. I wasn't prepared to get into a battle" for legal rights to the name.

In the end, Exploration Tower at Port Canaveral came out the winner, Macy said. Internally, it's already being nicknamed "E.T." or "The Tower."

"It's been another lesson to me that simpler is probably the best," Macy said. "If you get too fancy with the name, you lose the purpose."

Look for new signs with the tower name to go up around the port next week. Shirts, hats and other merchandise will follow soon, with a logo featuring a stylized line drawing of the curving structure reminiscent of a wave, a sail or a rocket contrail. Macy said the logo will sometimes stand alone, without the name, much like the Nike "Swoosh."

The Exploration Tower logo colors go from sea green to sky blue.

"They're very seaworthy colors," Macy said, and also allude to the changing colors of the building's exterior at different times of the day, in various light intensities.

The 23,000-square-foot building's seventh-floor observation deck is 113 feet above ground level, and the crown of the $23 million structure stands 189 feet tall.

The Exploration Tower's official grand opening is Nov. 9, with a "soft opening" during the week of Nov. 4. Details will be announced next week.

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