As Tampa gears up for the Republican National Convention, the biggest party it has ever held, the city and its businesses are primping and polishing for the August arrival of tens of thousands of visitors. Like it or not — mostly not, for city officials — Tampa’s well-known strip clubs have joined the welcome wagon.
Club owners here say they have schmoozed with their counterparts in former host cities, like Denver, and have been told that revenue pours in during conventions, sometimes quadrupling earnings from a Super Bowl week. As for party affiliation, this is one place where the country’s caustic partisan differences fall away, owners say.
Angelina Spencer, the executive director of the Association of Club Executives, which serves as a trade association for strip clubs, said an informal survey of convention business in New York and Denver had determined that Republicans dropped more money at clubs, by far.
“Hands down, it was Republicans,” she said. “The average was $150 for Republicans and $50 for Democrats…”
James Davis, a spokesman for the Republican National Convention, declined to discuss Tampa’s prominent strip clubs.
“We’re expecting to have a great convention,” Mr. Davis said. “We’re focused completely on having a great convention.”
Yes, probably every club will have a Sarah Palin look-alike stripper hoping to be the queen of the convention.