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Sunday Late Night: Tampa Strip Clubs Gear Up for Family Values Crowd

Republican Family Values (photo: Chris Blakeley / flickr)

Three times as much on average. That’s the estimate of per-customer spending at strip clubs by the Association of Club Executives, from cities hosting the last GOP conventions, compared to cities hosting Democratic conventions. Don’t say the two parties are exactly the same!

And Tampa is ready for the GOP family values crowd:

Over at the back door of the 2001 Odyssey, a limo-size tent with flaps — especially designed for discretion and camera-shy guests — is ready to go up. Déjà Vu is welcoming extra “talent” from around the country in its V.I.P. rooms.

And Thee DollHouse is all Americana: women plan to slip out of red, white and blue corsets and offer red, white and blue vodka. The headliner that week is expected to bear an uncanny resemblance to a certain ex-governor from a wilderness state, known for her strong jaw and devotion to guns and God.

I don’t think I want to know how you get red, white, and blue vodka.

Owners are using the web to get Tampa-bound convention attendees hooked on their particular dancers ahead of time:

“Not only can you see the dancers on the stage and in the dressing room, you can also talk to them in an online chat room,” said Don Kleinhans, owner of the 2001 Odyssey on North Dale Mabry Highway.

By the time the RNC begins in late August, Kleinhans hopes out-of-towners will have already formed attachments to his dancers from watching them online through the Club Cam System, which the 2001 Odyssey developed.

Customers pay $4 a minute to chat on top of the monthly $19.95 membership.

Being recognized once they arrive seems to be the biggest worry convention-goers might have, because finding an open venue won’t be:

The [Tampa] Bay area has more than 40 strip clubs, and their already infamous reputation increased during the 2009 Super Bowl, when some clubs stayed open 24 hours and doubled or tripled the number of dancers.

The entertainers hope politics brings a bigger payday than football, assuming visitors don’t mind being recognized.

Problem: None of these articles features anyplace for the Log Cabinettes to get their itch scratched. Can Tampans chime in here? Wherever are Lindsay Graham and Ken Mehlman to find their kind of entertainment? Or can we expect Tampa conventioneers, like inbound London Olympians, to see Grindr crash?

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