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CarMax Running Strip Clubs?
One of the most frequent questions we get at TVO is, “How do I get the best rate for a dance or a VIP experience in a Vegas club?” Similarly, we get dozens of questions on what packages cost, what a booth or room costs, what two girl dances cost. Among twenty-one clubs, various dayparts, weeknights vs weekends, its a free for all in pricing. Personally, I go by the philosophy, set your own price and let the seller come to you. If they won’t, they are not motivated enough to give you ‘your’ money’s worth. Do you get a worse experience when you haggle the dance down? Brother Snyder articulated this much better in his landmark treatise on the topic in 2019 … How to Negotiate Prices in Vegas Strip Clubs.
Strip Club Negotiations in Las Vegas
Arnold ‘Wrote the Book;’ as they say!
The enormity of the interest got me to ponder an alternative model to the present one. The questions of how to make the experience better for the customer, the dancer and the club owner kept me up at night. I had to get out late and hit the clubs during prime time … midnight to 5am. I think I’ve learned that I do my best ‘club thinking’ in those otherwise tranquil hours before the dawn here in the desert valley of southern Nevada.
I managed to reframe my business model question this way … “What is CarMax got into the men’s club business?”
In case you are in one of the nine states without a CarMax, or you’ve never shopped in one of their massive used cars showrooms, I’ll explain. The concept for CarMax was developed by the electronics retailer Circuit City. The chain worked for a year in 1991, using the code name “Project X”! The skunk works team that worked on it called it “Honest Rick’s Used Cars.” Interesting, we already have a chain of large clubs called “Rick’s Cabaret.”
A typical CarMax store is approximately 60,000 square feet. The store carries an inventory of 350–450 vehicles, and turns its inventory over ten times a year. The CarMax location employs 40 sales associates. Each car goes through a thorough 125-point inspection process and includes a 90-day warranty. The financing has a 3 day revision period for free, and a 30-day money back guarantee.
The inventory excludes older, worn-out and troubled vehicles. Models not making the grade are sold off to wholesalers and retailers on the other side of town.
With all of those customer friendly benefits, the one thing that created the stellar CarMax brand reputation was their no-haggle, no-negotiation policy. The price on the sticker is the price you pay … no exceptions.
So what would the strip club business be like is CarMax entered into competition with the big boys and the mom & pop club operators?
Here’s several things I could see them changing. For the sake of this exercise, I’ll leave the CarMax brand out of this, and start a new mega brand called “GirlMax.”
First and foremost, GirlMax would adopt the No Haggle policy. Prices for everything would be clearly marked. Individual dancers, like car models, would have unique price points for standard services like a single song dance, drink company, and of course, VIP time. Unlike the auto dealer, tipping would still be welcomed, and that would be a free expression of the customer’s appreciation and generosity.
The aforementioned pricing would be displayed on a stylish sticker that clung neatly to a dancers arm and thigh. The two stickers make it easier to read, and might have the benefit of covering an unsightly or unfortunate tattoo.
Vegas Strip Club Bouncers
Like the auto retailer, GirlMax would issue standard, high quality golf shirts to managers, bouncers and all other male staff. This would save them the expense and embarrassment of have to own ill fitting, cheap suits that don’t look good on anyone. No longer would former football linemen be seen bursting out of $99 polyester suits.
Let’s make these suits history. They are flammable and pick up stale smoke between monthly dry cleanings.
Speaking of bouncers, the larger clubs have a sound practice of security pat downs at the front door. TVO is all for this effort to keep weapons out of the clubs. However, we wonder why a night of male celebration and lusty pleasure needs to start out with one of the most homoerotic set of hand movements this side of San Fransisco! The search for weapons that violates several parts on my privates would be better handled by one of the dancers. Most of us would even tip her for a really comprehensive search. “Don’t forget to check the back Misty!” Starting on day one GirlMax has a new security gauntlet. You’re going to love it!
Vegas Men’s Club Bathrooms
Speaking of change, I’ve never understood the large club obsession with the staffed bathroom.* The pleasant chap standing at the sink, with generous assortment of colognes, breath mints, gum, brass knuckles, condoms and paperbacks is not a benefit in most trips. Frankly, the pleasant task of using the men’s room has a buzz kill when I’ve got to reach into my tight jeans to find money for him. I can get my own towelette, thank you very much. I’m going to miss him; but not that much. Get your own paper towel at GirlMax. And, no air blowers, they take too long and they say they spread nasty particles all over the room.
Vegas Dance Song Length
Enough on saving costs. Let’s start to improve the experience. At GirlMax, we don’t need to wait for the next song to start the standard dance. GirlMax recognizes that the $20 dance has been around since the 80’s. If we want to get $30 or $40 for a dance, we’ll go the extra mile.
The reason we don’t need to wait for the next song to start is we give the customer a small can of Pringles to eat during the dance. When the Pringles are gone, the dance is over. If the customer isn’t eating fast enough for the girl, she can simply grab 3-4 chips herself. Having the Pringles also gives the customer something to do with his hands besides dive into her panties. For a VIP set of dances, a larger can will be offered.
This new Pringles strategy works on so many levels. The salty snack stimulates thirst, which drives beverages sales. I sound like Bar Rescue’s John Taffer, citing ‘club science,’ but it’s true. The Food & Beverage Manger will be thrilled. The customer will be satisfied, because everyone loves Pringles. Finally, the dancers will be thrilled to get their higher fees and avoid the headache of making conversation while one Usher song ends, waiting for another Usher song to start her next dance.
There are a host of other innovations including
Designated ‘cheap seats’ which clearly mark off the guys who can only afford to watch and milk their costly drinks,
Adoption of the CarMax 125-point inspection certifying the dancers (this is not needed in Las Vegas, our dancers are all wonderful, but in cities like Portland, Seattle and Sacramento … this 125 point inspection will be welcomed),
Online selection before visiting the club to speed up finding the right dancer
30 day return policy … in the GirlMax case, you may not return for 30 days if you creeped the girls out, or were a very bad tipper
What do you think? Does GirlMax sound like a club you’d try?
*TVO Bonus Tip: For the best movie ever made about strip clubs, check out “From the Head” -2011
From the Head (2011) - IMDb - https://m.imdb.com/title/tt1714051/?ref_=ext_shr_em