Posted by Ash on February 18, 2010
It’s no secret that tourism is down in Las Vegas. Recently our Mayor, Oscar Goodman was pissed over remarks President Obama made about being smart with your money and not blowing, “a bunch of cash on Vegas when you’re trying to save for college.” And I would say most Las Vegans are rightfully pissed along with Mayor Goodman. Tourism is this city’s main source of money. Hell, we don’t pay a state income tax at the end of the year because the hotels entertainment and gambling taxes make up for it. So when times get tough around Las Vegas, businesses get desperate. Cirque Du Soleil shows are now offering buy one get the second for $25 for locals. Other shows are offering buy one get one free deals. Some night clubs stopped charging locals cover charges just to get more people in to buy drinks. And some strip clubs are now offering as much as $120 to a cab driver for every person they bring to their establishment.
Let me repeat that… $120 to a cab driver per person! This payoff technique isn’t new to Vegas. In fact its been going on for quite a while. Usually the deal is, if you show up in your own car their is no cover charge, but if you show up in a cab or limo there is any where from a $15 to $30 fee even if you’re a local. The club doesn’t keep this money they just walk it right back out to the cab driver. The club then hopes to make the money back by the drinks the patron then buys while they are there.
About a year ago, our favorite strip club (at the time) decided they would be a rebel. In the face of the recession Seamless decided to stop charging a cover charge and stop paying the cab drivers in hopes that it would bring them more business. Our favorite waitress there was telling us that the owners had said if all the clubs did this everyone would stand to benefit. But sadly it didn’t happen. Seamless went under and is now the Deja Vu Ultra Lounge. In fact now a few clubs have done the opposite. They have jacked the prices of EVERYTHING up at their clubs. We recently found this out the hard way at Sapphire’s. They were charging near 15 bucks a damn drink! After a tip that’s near 35 bucks for 2 people. Who the fuck can pay that and still afford some boobies in their face?!
Many strip club owners who are paying the cabbies are trying as hard as they can to remain anonymous and keep their mugs out of the news. But one owner who is on the other end of the cab wars, Rick Belcastro has made his voice heard. He told us to check out his youtube video he made about the situation. Its quite funny.
Well, we Bull Shatted (thats right I said Bull Shatted) a little with the owner of Badda Bing, Rick the other night at Karaoke XXX. He is quite the character and the name of his club completely fits his attitude. He told us he was one of the only people to show up to a recent hearing on the situation. He also told us that he’s giving free rides to anyone that wants to go to his club!
So why should you care about any of this? If all the other strip clubs go out of business then what is stopping places like Sapphire’s from charging 18 or 20 bucks a drink and 50 dollars a cover charge. Competition is good in a free market. Monopolies only hurt the consumers. And besides, seeing boobies while drinkin’ shouldn’t be an expensive activity damn it!
Thanks @toplessvegas for the link to the YouTube clip!
Ash Modeus 8===D~o
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