LAND - O' LAKES - After they ante up, some poker players will be taking off their clothes Friday evening at Paradise Lakes Resort.
A strip poker tournament geared toward students at the University of South Florida will highlight an all-day "Bulls in the Buff" event at the clothing-optional resort just west of Dale Mabry Highway.
Resort owner Joe Lettelleir said Kristy Lucas, an unpaid USF intern, came up with the strip poker idea. Lettelleir has been trying to find ways to introduce younger people to the nudist lifestyle.
"She came up with this idea," Lettelleir said. "She jumped in the boat, and she has an idea a minute. We're anxious to hear more of them.
"I think the [USF students] will enjoy it. It's all in fun."
A hotbed of nudist resorts, Land O' Lakes is home to four of five such resorts in Pasco County. An estimated 100,000 nudists - part of a fast-growing niche in the tourism industry - pour into the area each year, The Wall Street Journal reported.
With Lucas passing out fliers on campus and advertisements in USF's student newspaper, The Oracle, Lettelleir expects a large crowd. The festivities are free to USF students and adults 25 and younger, plus there will be a beer special.
The strip poker tournament is for couples and single women.
Prizes will include gift certificates for the resort, T-shirts and logo items, Lettelleir said. At Paradise Lakes, which was founded in 1981, visitors are never required to be nude.
Eric Schuttauf, executive director of the American Association for Nude Recreation in Kissimmee, said Lucas could be onto something big. He said clothing-optional resorts are marketing to college-age people more than ever.
Most members of the association, which includes people in Canada, Mexico and other countries, are 35 to 55.
Strip poker tournaments for college students is a "new one on me," Schuttauf said, but "any outreach that can be done is neat."
"We recognize the way to communicate with college students is a little bit different than with others," he said. "They're more Web savvy and communications-driven and more mobile.
"Poker is big now, but it wasn't five years ago," Schuttauf said.
Friday's strip poker tournament is scheduled for 6:30 to 8 p.m.
There will be a free barbecue from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Students 21 and older can get their first drink free, and the resort is offering poolside rooms for $40 that night.
USF spokeswoman Lara Wade said the university's administration was aware of the event, which "is not affiliated with us in any way."
"It doesn't benefit us or our campus, so it's not a USF event," she said. "There are commercials all the time trying to solicit our students, so this isn't a real surprise."