TAMPA, Florida (WTSP) - Gentleman's clubs across Tampa Bay rolled out the red carpet, hoping to attract visitors in town for the Republican National Convention. Some clubs even hired extra staff and brought in dancers from out of town, only to be disappointed.
"They were expecting way more than what actually came," said Gary Smith, manager of Tampa's Gold Club.
Bernadette Notte is a bartender and weekend manager at Mons Venus on North Dale Mabry. She says business was actually down about 50 percent.
"It was bad," said Notte. "My expectation was high too. We had how many people come to town? 70,000? But they all did stay away."
"They're political figures. They really don't want to be seen out and about in places like this. They're more of the private party guys," said Smith, who insists it wasn't all bad news. He actually saw a slight bump in business, but nothing compared to what was expected.
"The majority we got was bodyguards, drivers, and even a couple journalists, and like I said, they had to sneak out. They had hotels on lock down," said Smith.
Many of those in town didn't have their own transportation. Others were worried about protecting their public image. Whatever the reasons, the RNC can't compare to even smaller events when it comes to adult entertainment.
"To have the Super Bowl here, that was huge. There's no comparison whatsoever," said Smith.