TAMPA, Fla. - With all the new decoration around Tampa welcoming the RNC to town, it might seem like white poster board covering pink windows on the County Center is for festivity's sake too -- but it's actually protecting the glass from protestors while offices are vacant.
"We are encouraging people to think of this as, 'You're going to camp. You're not moving house. Take just what's essential,'" explained Deputy County Administrator for Public Safety and Community Services Sharon Subadan. "We have really gone out of our way to get the message out that we're open for business but not as usual."'
The County Center is shutting down during the RNC. Nearly 1,500 employees have to relocate, 500 of whom work for the Clerk of Circuit Court, who spent $150,000 on the move.
"I just hope everybody will be able to smile when we're all through with this," said Hillsborough County Clerk of the Circuit Court Pat Frank. "People have worked very hard on this."
The county building is not the only one boarding up to the public.
The Florida Aquarium is closing, along with the Tampa Bay History Center, and several venues at Channelside, all for media broadcasting or highly secret private parties.
"It's really hard not to get excited and tell the world that they're coming to town," said Tiffany Davies, director of marketing and events at Millennium Management Group.
Closing down is opening up major cash flow. Restaurants like Carne Chophouse expect to rake in ten times the profit of an average week.
So much profit, the new restaurant's now debt-free.
"They have really come to the table willing to spend money," explained owner Jason Fernandez.
Though closing some tables to the public, venues hope the hype doesn't entirely block the view for locals.
"I think it's very important we experience this ourselves and we don't hide," Fernandez said.
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