Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Hard Times For The Las Vegas Sex-Trade

Warning: This post contains the words ‘Vegas’ and ‘Bush’ and should probably not be read by children.

As the recession worsens and belts tighten, it seems that some people’s pants are staying up for once, so to speak: Vegas Brothels are being pounded by the recession, with some locations reporting revenue losses as high as 45 percent, according to an article in Newsweek. Lust may be one of the seven deadly sins, but it is apparently not recession-proof.

It seems that when it comes to what people want on their tables, some people still think food is more important than strippers. My faith in humanity is restored. But how are Vegas' other tables faring? Vegas casinos, too, are on a losing streak and Wall Street doesn’t expect a turnaround in the near future. Though a major tourist draw, casinos are viewed as competitors by brothels in Vegas, so if the casinos aren’t performing either, just where is the money going? From the Newsweek article:
"Some of these brothels are out in the middle of nowhere so fuel prices have an effect,” says Dennis Hof, owner of the infamous Moonlite Bunny Ranch. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, diesel on the West Coast now costs $4.87 per gallon. That means truckers could easily spend $1,000 to fill up their tanks, leaving them with little extra cash and less likely to take a detour.
It seems the money has gone from the pimps to the pumps. In attempts to make ends meet, brothel owners have considered increased advertising and have begun offering specials, including big economic stimulus packages. To the first 100 customers who bring in their economic stimulus checks, the Moonlite Bunny Ranch has offered at half-price "The $1,200 George Bush party—three girls and a bottle of champagne." Perhaps they should offer the Bill Clinton package for cigar lovers, too. A quickie courtesy of the government is not going to help the sex industry very much, and though it may be hard to swallow, brothel owners may need to relocate entirely. Nevada law prohibits brothels from operating in towns of more than 400,000 people, so options are limited. If this Strip is out of the question, the Belt may be a better option: The Capital Beltway, that is. After all, the only whores making money these days all work in D.C.

As I’m no fan of the sex-industry, I probably shouldn’t be giving them any more ideas, but here’s another one all the same. As gas prices increase, more Americans may begin to rely on mass transit. Perhaps brothels should work out a shuttle system to bring in their Johns (and their Benjamins). Earlier this year, Seattle opened a streetcar referred to as the South Lake Union Trolley (the S.L.U.T.). If there’s any place in this country where people are shameless enough to be seen entering a bus bound exclusively for houses of ill-repute, it’s Vegas. They can run a service from the Airport to the Brothel and call it the A to B Shuttle, or any number of fun names:
  • The Busty Bus
  • A Streetcar of Desire
  • Las Vegas Park and Ride and Ride
  • The Meat Wagon
  • or Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: The Magical Car
Next stop: Solvency!

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