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Rick's Cabaret Running Out of Stripper Names

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IT WAS BOUND TO HAPPEN
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"We've gone through cars, flowers, gems, perfumes, colors. You'll always find a Mercedes or Porsche or Ruby."

So says Rick's Cabaret spokesman Lonnie Hanover, in an interview with the New York Post. It seems that the largest operator of gentlemen's clubs in the country has just about run out of names for its dancers.

The Post reports:
Rick's has employed more than 3,000 strippers over the past half-decade, including 1,000 on its current roster. But no two "active" dancers -- girls who've stripped in the past year -- are allowed to have the same working title. Hanover says requested names serve as a popularity poll for each generation's sex symbols. "I've been going through Pamelas for 20 years. There have been a lot of Giselles," says Hanover. "I've run out of suggestions."
It was bound to happen. There are simply more women entering the industry these days.

In February, Atlanta Journal-Constitution police reporter Megan Matteucci noticed large numbers of women lined up at Atlanta Police headquarters every time she went to pick up reports. Detectives told Matteucci the women were applying for a license to strip. Intrigued, Matteucci made a Freedom of Information Act request for numbers on adult-entertainment permits and discovered some interesting facts.

She writes:

"Atlanta police say they’ve seen a spike in applications for adult-entertainment permits in the past year or so due to the recession and the recent change in Georgia law that allows nude dancers to be as young as 18."

And:

"Among the usual aspiring actresses and dancers, there are more college students, single mothers trailing toddlers, health and office professionals and even a few age-defying grandmothers -- all looking for well-paid work in a city with unemployment above 10 percent."

Angelina Spencer of the Association of Club Executives, a national trade association comprised of club owners and professionals, told Mateucci, “Women who may not have ever thought about working in the industry are rethinking” the idea, said , manager of the Washington, DC-based trade group. “Unfortunately, mortgages, car payments and groceries don’t go away in a bad economy.”

Apparently, neither do strip club patrons.

Economist Donald Ratajczak of Georgia State University’s Economic Forecasting Center maintains that even a conservative estimate of the economic impact of such clubs translates to a staggering $200-$240 million, which is more than the economic impact of the Braves, Hawks and Falcons combined.

It's difficult to argue with. According to the Association of Club Executives, the industry "boasts 3,829 adult cabarets nationwide that employ over 500,000 people" and "a single gentlemen's club in a major metropolitan area grosses between $10-20 million per year. A small club in a rural area (Less than 5000 square feet) can generate over a million dollars while cities in secondary markets such as Cleveland or Pittsburgh boast clubs that gross approximately $2 million per year."

As for the dearth of stripper-like names still available to Rick's dancers, well...this may signal a return to basics, as we're currently seeing in other areas of society.

How long will it be before "Amber to the main stage," is replaced by, "Betsy to the Champagne Room?" And what will this "back to basics" movement mean for the Socionomists watching this development for insights into what the future holds for financial markets?
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.

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