The question has been heating up for more than a decade: Will strip clubs eventually end up inside Las Vegas gaming palaces?
Executives for the Houston-based adult entertainment giant Rick’s Cabaret, the new owners of Scores, swear they had a deal in 2000, with a 2001 opening at Caesars Palace.
Arthur M. Goldberg, who turned Park Place Entertainment into a casino empire, was the force behind making it happen, said Eric Langan, president and chief executive officer of Rick’s Cabaret International, Inc., the largest publicly traded gentlemen’s club operator in the world.
“It was going to be a joint venture on the 19th floor in the old health club and spa,” said Langan during an interview Wednesday. “We even had a private entrance.”
As we spoke, Langan’s longtime marketing executive, John Gray, made a call to headquarters in Houston to get the date on the letter of approval from Caesars Palace’s front office.
“It was dated Aug. 31, 2000,” said Gray, who was involved in the negotiations.
Goldberg died Oct. 19, 2000, at age 58 from complications from bone marrow failure.
At that time, Goldberg headed Park Place, which operated more than two dozen casinos, including Caesars Palace, Bally’s, Paris Las Vegas and the Las Vegas Hilton.
“After Arthur’s death, Park Place nixed it,” Langan said.
“We estimated we would have generated $36 million in sales the first year just from Park Place-referred customers,” Langan added.
Eight years after the near-miss, Scores is the first foray into the Las Vegas market for Rick’s Cabaret, which closed its deal with DI Food & Beverage last week. Rick’s took over Scores on Friday.
Under terms of the agreement, Scores managing partner Dennis DeGori, who ran Club Paradise for years, cannot be part of a strip club within a 25-mile radius of Las Vegas for two years.
The biggest issue that’s keeping strip clubs out of local casinos, Langan said, is the lap dance. “They don’t mind topless,” he said. The concern is having resorts associated with the “perception of prostitution,” he said.
THE SCENE AND HEARD
Siegfried Fischbacher and Roy Horn have keg-tapping honors Saturday for the opening of Oktoberfest at the Hofbrauhaus Las Vegas. They’ll take the stage at 7 p.m. …
Correction: Fran Drescher‘s book-reading appearance at the Nevada Cancer Institute is 11 a.m. Friday. She will be doing a reading of her book “Cancer Schmancer.” Information: 822-5217
During Nathan Burton‘s show Wednesday at the Flamingo, he asked an audience member to choose a box of cereal. The lady picked Rice Krispies. Burton then produced a box of Rice Krispies from a locked box hanging from the ceiling. “You do not get Rice Krispies at Donny & Marie,” Burton told the crowd. With that, a voice yelled out from the balcony, “Yes you do!” It was Donny Osmond. … Food and beverage blogger Michael Politz, being served by a process server Tuesday at the Palazzo on his way to his event at LAVO, the new nightclub. Politz said he agreed to meet the process server after the latter had left a card at Politz’s office the day before. Politz is being sued and accused of libel by Prive nightclub at Planet Hollywood Resort for a series of postings on his Web site, TheVegasEye.com. … Illusionist David Copperfield, dining Tuesday at Social House lounge in Treasure Island. … Jeff Beacher, producer of “Beacher’s Madhouse,” spotted in a promo commercial that aired during MTV’s Video Music Awards on Sunday. Beacher was shown grilling some candidates for the reality show “Paris Hilton‘s My New BFF” The scenes were shot at Tao and The Mirage.
THE PUNCH LINE
“There are only 56 days until the election. I saw that they’re selling Sarah Palin action figures. Sad incident at Toys R Us today — a Sarah Palin doll shot My Little Pony.” — Jimmy Kimmel
Norm Clarke can be reached at (702) 383-0244 or email@example.com. Find additional sightings and more online at www.normclarke.com.