GOP putting South Dakota delegation at Shephard's Beach Resort, known for its wild parties, for convention

5:59 PM, May 3, 2012   |    comments
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A wild party at Shephard's Beach Resort



Clearwater Beach, Florida - If the South Dakota delegates want to party when they arrive for the Republican National Convention in August, they won't have to go far. The folks from South Dakota will be staying at Shephard's Beach Resort, a place known for its wild parties.

Photo Gallery: Shepard's: Clearwater Beach's biggest party resort

In fact, 10 News pulled some recent pictures taken at the hotel, which show everything from a 2-story beer bong to swimsuit-wearing couples grinding on an outdoor tiki deck. Online we found plenty of videos showing more of the same, including a frozen t-shirt contest.

The somewhat unusual pairing raises the question: did convention organizers realize what type of reputation Shephard's has before they reserved rooms at the hotel?

After seeing pictures of parties at Shephard's, James Davis, the Communications Director for the Republican National Convention, issued a statement to 10 News saying; "These events are in no way connected to the Republican Convention."

Davis went on to say, "The South Dakota delegation will use a substantial portion of the entire hotel property the week of convention, which runs Monday Aug. 27 to Thursday Aug. 30. Delegations attending the convention, will work with hotels to schedule and organize their own events."

The website rates Shephard's as the 49th best hotel in Clearwater to stay.  Several previous guests give the hotel a mark of excellent, but the three most recent reviews offer a warning to anyone thinking about staying there.  

One guest who said they stayed at Shephard's last month wrote under the title, "Don't book at this hotel unless you have earplugs." Another guest said, "Party YES... sleep NO" while a third person stressed, "Not for families."

10 News called the South Dakota Republican Party several times to see if they were happy with their assigned hotel for the convention, but our calls were not returned.

Neither was our call Shepherd's general manager.

Davis wouldn't say if convention organizers would reconsider South Dakota's hotel assignment, but he did add in a brief phone conversation that, "All of the hotels (selected) are great venues."

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