Strip Clubs Expect To Be During Republican National Convention

7:41 AM, Aug 10, 2012   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida (WTSP) -- Some Republican leaders are warning other party members to be careful in the "lap dance capital of the world" during the Republican National Convention, but strip club owners are still bracing for a busy week.

"We've been told to expect two to three times what a Super Bowl would be," said Don Kleinhans, co-owner of 2001 Odyssey.

"We're not expecting Mitt (Romney), but he's more than welcome to come in," Kleinhans joked.

Recently Politico reported that the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee told his colleagues to "be careful" in Tampa and don't do anything questionable in public.

"(What) is wrong if I go to a legitimate adult establishment for a couple of hours and watch a girl dance? There's nothing wrong with that," shot back Paul Allen, the publisher of Nightmoves, a magazine which covers the Bay area strip club scene.

"Restaurants are going to make a fortune. Cabs and limos are going to make a fortune. Kind of makes sense that the clubs would make a part of that dollar influx that's coming into our city as well," he said.

The operations manager at Skin Tampa Ultra Lounge, the closest strip club to the actual convention site, says he's not worried about Republicans staying away either.

"We're glad to have them here and we'll show them a good time," said Eric "Ice" Terrell.

In fact, Terrell says they even plan on staying open longer if needed.

"We normally close at 6 a.m. I mean hey if we have guests here till 8, we'll stay open 'til 8 (in the morning)."

To lure customers in, Thee Dollhouse is bringing in Lisa Ann, a Sarah Palin impersonator who is also the adult film star of "Nailin Paylin." Another club is having look-alike contests of famous politicians while Scarlett's in Ybor City is telling potential customers in its advertisements to come "Party Like a Liberal."

But many club owners are aware that some people will want to be discrete about going to one of the Bay area's nearly 60 strip clubs.

To help make that happen, Kleinhans says they will be putting up a drive-thru tent in the back, so someone wanting privacy entering or leaving the club will not be seen by the public.

"So they can actually come in and have direct access to the spaceship VIP room without having to go through any typical public areas," Kleinhans said.

2001 Odyssey has also added new VIP seating areas with private curtains on the first floor in advance of the convention.

But the steps and improvements happening at 2001 are not unusual.

"Clubs have been putting in new carpets, adding marble tops, they've been fixing up their stages, they've been adding stuff to their sound systems, it's amazing the clubs are absolutely geared up for this to be huge," Allen said.

And huge could also be the cover charge at some strip clubs if it is as busy as some predict, with one manager telling 10 News cover could approach $80 per person.

With or without a warning, that would no doubt keep some people away.

The Republican National Convention is scheduled to begin on August 27th.

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