TAMPA, Florida -- For months the Republican National Convention has been hyped as a chance for Tampa's business owners to cash in. Area leaders touted hundreds of millions of dollars in economic impact.
But after day one of the RNC, some businesses are calling it a bust.
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"I feel like it was over-hyped," said Katherine Stine, a server at Carmine's Restaurant in Ybor City.
Many restaurants added extra staff and stayed open for extra hours. Both may have been mistakes.
"It's not living up to our high expectations of the crowds. We're all just really disappointed. I feel like the whole city is suffering because of it," Stine said.
On Monday, the registers weren't exactly ringing at John Lopez's boutique shop in Channelside.
"We haven't done real well today. Probably 10 percent of what I expected," said the owner of C-Side Boutique.
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Cancelling Monday's events at the Tampa Bay Times Forum flushed away a lot of the foot traffic. Store owners blamed the weather, along with thousands of fewer protesters than expected in town, as well as other visitors leaving early or cancelling their trips altogether.
"It will be a big setback if I don't do well the next three days," Lopez said.
RNC and city of Tampa officials promised a $175 to $200 million economic impact. Many people were counting on a piece that cash.
"We thought it would be a really good economic boost and we're just not seeing that," Stine said.
With three days to go, some store owners are optimistic they can still recover, while others fear another day of the convention could get wiped out by Isaac.
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