From an Upscale Strip Club to Bring Your Own Beer

I am big reader of trends….trying to ascertain from newspaper articles which way the winds of change are blowing. A story a few days ago in the WSJ pointed to a new industry that’s having trouble…the Strip Club business.

The two largest publicly-traded strip club operators are Rick’s and VCG, together they have seen sales drops in their 18-20 clubs. One way that strip clubs get business is paying cabbies in Las Vegas cash to bring them customers. At one time the going rate was $30 a person, now they are offering $100 a pop….which is becoming a drag on their ‘bottom lines.’

One other trends the owners of clubs are seeing is that the elusive high rollers, who would in olden days buy $750 bottles of Cristal champagne, are harder to find. Rick’s has converted one upscale club into something quite different. Now the same club is an all-nude, bring your own beer venue, since it was hard to get the liquor license.

Of course there is always an upside to a downside, in some ways at least. It’s easier to find ‘dancers’ to work in the clubs, now some of the new recruits are former bankers, real estate agents and fashion designers. A woman who was once a mortgage broker cited the pros and cons of the work: you’ll make lots of money, ‘but you’ll sacrifice your normal life,” she said.