Not like National at all

? New York Times

National party conferences are staid affairs…almost like extended school assembly. Not so for Republican conventions where hookers, strippers and extended carousing are all part of the fun:

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. D?j? 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.

?She?s a dead ringer for her,? said Warren Colazzo, co-owner of Thee DollHouse. ?It?s just a really good gimmick to get publicity.?

As Tampa gears up for the?Republican National Convention, the biggest party it has ever held, the city and its businesses are primping and polishing for the August arrival of tens of thousands of visitors. Like it or not ? mostly not, for city officials ? Tampa?s well-known strip clubs have joined the welcome wagon.

Club owners here say they have schmoozed with their counterparts in former host cities, like Denver, and have been told that revenue pours in during conventions, sometimes quadrupling earnings from a?Super Bowl?week. As for party affiliation, this is one place where the country?s caustic partisan differences fall away, owners say.

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