Cleveland strip clubs get ready for GOP convention

The Quicken Loans Arena is covered in signage in preparation for next week's Republican National Convention. Photo / AP
The Quicken Loans Arena is covered in signage in preparation for next week's Republican National Convention. Photo / AP

On paper, the Republican Party classifies pornography as a major public health problem.

But just in case delegates to the nominating convention here next week forget that, Cleveland's strip clubs are going all out to get ready for the party, due to embrace Donald Trump formally as its presidential candidate.

As always during big sporting and political events in America, the Ohio city's bars, restaurants and gentlemen's clubs are girding for a flood of visitors.

For the strip clubs, that can mean sprucing up with the red, white and blue of the US flag.

"We always decorate according to what's going on," said Bob Fischer, general manager of Christie's Cabaret.

More importantly, the city authorities granted the club's request to stay open later - until 4am instead of the usual 2.30am.

Ditto for porn king Larry Flynt's Hustler Club. "We're fully prepared," a female manager who goes by the name of London said.

Club managers said it will be all hands on deck in terms of staffing, too, for the duration of the Tuesday to Friday convention.

And the clothes strippers take off will reflect the occasion.

"The club is just beautiful as it is. But I'm sure our girls will be wearing the appropriate attire," said Diana, a hostess at Diamond Men's Club.

Cleveland expects an influx of some 50,000 people, in a city with a population of just under 400,000.

The invading herd will include around 15,000 people working for news media and some 5000 delegates and alternates - those who will actually vote to make Trump their man.

The delegates will also adopt the party's newly drafted official platform, which calls pornography a "public health crisis".

At a club called Crazy Horse Cleveland, although strippers may wear patriotic colours, there will be no mention of the Republican Party.

"We try to steer clear of politics," manager Jeff Kallam said. "Politics upsets people."

- AFP

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