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The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Strip club industry: More than Democrats, GOP conventioneers have been 'our best customers'



Strip clubs in Tampa are making improvements in anticipation of a surge of customers during the Republican National Convention, and – no surprise here – the same thing is happening at clubs in Charlotte, N.C., the site of Democratic National Convention.

That led a Charlotte public radio station to ask: which political convention is best for the adult entertainment industry?

“Hands down, the Republicans have always been our best customers,” Angelina Spencer, the executive director of the Association of Club Executives, the national trade organization for adult nightclubs, told WFAE-FM (90.7). 

Here’s more from WFAE’s report, with a couple of parenthetical asides from The Buzz:

“And they tend to be business-focused,” she (Spencer) says. “That’s really all I can say. We get clients from all walks of life, but for whatever reason. … I have heard club owners say, ‘Boy, those Republicans really are great customers.’ ”

She says it’s not that there are more Republicans at the clubs. It’s that they have more to spend. 

Back in Charlotte, location might play a role. The Gold Club in South Charlotte sits about seven miles from the Time Warner Cable Arena. Jolie (no last name given) has been a stripper there for 10 years. 

“My big concern is that a good portion are going to stay just to downtown Charlotte,” she says. 

The club is across the street from a light rail stop. Jolie says that during the DNC, they will waive cover charges if the patron has a light rail pass. (This is an area where Charlotte has an edge over the Tampa Bay area, which has nothing like light rail.) She’s hoping that promotion will entice more customers, because the recession has hit her pretty hard. She now works twice as many hours a week to make ends meet. 

“For what I would bring in in a yearly base, it’s been cut in half, easy,” she says. “So when you’re used to living a certain way of living, your style of life, you’ve got to change it.” 

Still, no matter how many Democrats make it to the Gold Club, Jolie will stick by an old rule she learned growing up. 

“Daddy always said, ‘Don’t talk politics with anybody.’ ”





[Last modified: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 12:29pm]


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