TAMPA - We were curious how local businesses were making out, since the RNC kicked into full gear Tuesday. We found two very different stories.
We spoke to or visited upwards of a dozen shops and restaurants between Ybor City, Channelside and Hyde Park since Tuesday afternoon. Depending on who you talk with, the RNC has either brought feast or famine to local business owners.
In Channelside, Splittsville and its partners Stumps and Tina Tapa's are feasting on one private RNC party after another. One manager credits the fact they began building relationships and networking to get RNC business a year ago.
The Columbia in Ybor City tells a similar story, but others say they have beefed up inventory and staff and are still waiting for tables and aisles to fill up with delegates and guests.
The Attic on Seventh, along with the cigar factory next door can't understand why they are not seeing an increase in foot traffic. City Street Sweets and The Wine Exchange in Hyde Park are also disappointed.
Not only are the RNC people not coming, but the regulars are staying away this week, too, which is bad for the bottom line.
With a day an a half left, some still hold out hope RNC guests will find their way or the regulars get word and return.