Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Las Vegas strip clubs waging high-stakes cash-for-customers war

When the cab pulled up outside Rick's Cabaret Gentlemen's Club, the driver might not have fully appreciated he was about to set a Las Vegas record in the ongoing topless/taxi war.

He delivered four customers over the weekend and was tipped $100 by the club for each one. That's right: a $400 "tip" for dropping off riders

While casino resorts are slashing prices and bringing out bargain rates for rooms, food and fun, Treasures and Rick's are leading an unprecedented increase in the cash-for-customers game. One industry source says Treasures upped the ante as high as $105 per customer. (A Treasures manager said $105 was "high," but "we are very competitive. That's all I can really tell you.")

At the moment, the top rate is a C-note per paying customer. Customers pay an average of $30 apiece to enter the club, and some clubs have taken to charging up to $25 for two Coronas in an effort to recoup the tip out. Now that they've raised the stakes, other clubs must follow suit or suffer a drop in business. Like a high-stakes poker player, Rick's CEO and President Eric Langan says he has no intention to be outbid in the topless-taxi war and is willing to write off the expense as the cost of marketing his publicly-traded chain of topless cabarets.
Read More from John L Smith Las Vegas Review Journal