It looks like the GOP War on Women is about to enter the hand to hand combat phase in Tampa.
Across the Tampa Bay region, many of the 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.”
The owners know customers don’t come to their clubs to look at landscaping and marble lobbies. They come to look at undressed women, and most clubs are looking to hire many more willing and, in their subjective view, worthy to dance during the convention.
Alibi, a club on N Dale Mabry that typically rotates about eight dancers a night, plans to have 20 on staff. The Pink Pony plans to recruit on Craigslist and Facebook, while the Gold Club has asked for the “best girls” from chain members in Savannah and West Palm Beach.
Clubs also expect to hire dancers from outside Florida.
“There is a huge circuit,” Rice said, explaining that some high-earning strippers — who claim to take in as much as $2,000 a night — go from NASCAR races to World Series games to golf tournaments.
“These aren’t your average girls,” he said. “These are your high-end entertainers.”
While the iconic Mons Venus hasn’t done any RNC-related renovations, the club plans to hire more staff — or “as many that come through that door that’s a ’10,’ ” manager Lorry Kasner said.
“They just kind of show up,” Kasner said. “A lot of girls sort of follow the big events. I’m sure they’ll show up.”
In-town adult entertainers also are preparing for the GOP convention.
Gold Club dancer Mimi Diamonde, 26, who remembers making about $10,000 during the 2009 Super Bowl week, plans to wear a T-shirt advertising her club, along with “booty shorts” and high heels to malls and Starbucks during the day to recruit night-time customers.
“I’m pretty sure $1,000 and above,” Diamonde said, predicting her earnings.
And I imagine for a lot of these women, fleecing these overfed, sexually repressed hayseeds out of their money for a flash of fur pie may be revenge enough.
But not all.
Keep in mind that in the last several years, the science of camera miniaturization has gotten very good. And that some strippers do not look kindly on old white guys putting up police tape around their lady business.
So the question is, is there a stripper in Tampa who’s got the guts to film one of these hypocritical gas bags in mid lap dance and post it on YouTube?
It wouldn’t be easy. If caught, I imagine there could be civil and and even possible criminal charges. Not to mention that all the other clubs in the area would black ball them.
But as we reach a point where a law states that you can be involuntarily probed if you want an abortion, some strippers may just decide to roll those dice.