Tampa strip clubs preparing for bonanza from Republican National Convention
Two competing businessmen have been on the phone recently, taking the unusual step of sharing their business plans and renovation projects.
Both are remodeling for the Republican National Convention, adding touches to make the politically powerful feel at ease and preparing to stock up on more high-end products.
Rob Rice, manager of one of the establishments, says he has no problems bouncing ideas off a competitor, not when "there's going to be plenty to go around."
The businesses: two of Tampa's better known strip clubs — Tampa Gold Club and Scores Gentlemen's Club & Steakhouse.
Across Tampa Bay, many of the area's estimated 50 strip establishments are upgrading lighting, hiring dancers and creating private nooks to cash in on some of the 50,000 visitors expected for the GOP convention. Long one of Tampa's signature industries, strip clubs are preparing for the RNC as earnestly as the city has been repairing bridges, repaving streets and planting park benches downtown.
Adult industry writers and operators compare what Tampa strip clubs could earn during the week of Aug. 27 to the 2009 Super Bowl.
"The only thing the adult club owners and me can compare it to is the Super Bowl — except that it's five times bigger," said Paul Allen, publisher of the Night Moves adult business trade magazine. "You've got a bunch of people coming to Tampa Bay. They're not in meetings 24 hours a day. What do you think they're going to be doing at night? You can only eat so many steak dinners. You can only look at so many sunsets."