2019 EXPO | August 11-14

EXPO 2019 UPDATE: A STAR IS BORN

planet327th Annual EXPO slated for Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, August 11-14, will introduce first-ever “ED University” staff-specific seminars

In 2019, the Annual Gentlemen’s Club EXPO is going Hollywood — in more ways than one. This year’s host casino is the sharply renovated and dynamic Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, located in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip. With an impressive variety of modern guest rooms (starting at only $79 per night) and an array of on-site entertainment and dining, Planet Hollywood is unlike any host casino in the EXPO’s history.
To further enhance the convention’s location, we’re going to be talking about “stars”—not those on the Hollywood “Walk of Fame,” but those found in gentlemen’s clubs across the country.
“Every club owner would love to have a lineup of ‘stars’ in their venue, whether it’s managers, entertainers, servers, bartenders or floor hosts,” says ED Publications’ Associate Publisher, Dave Manack. “At EXPO 2019, our industry experts will help take today’s up-and-coming staffers and turn them into the ‘Oscar winners’ of tomorrow. And that will start with our first-ever staff-specific ‘ED University’ seminar series.”
The EXPO’s “ED University” seminar series will include very specific 45-minute sessions, and each attendee who attends these seminars will be given a “Certificate of Course Completion.” These seminars will be designed for general managers, as well as for servers, DJs and other club staff, but will also be of value to club owners as well.

“These ‘ED University’ seminars will be designed as ‘hands-on’ and ‘how-to,’ as our experts will provide detailed training on very specific subjects,” says Manack. “This ‘ED University’ program will give club owners and GMs something tangible they can bring back with them from EXPO, and will help strengthen their staff in key areas and turn them into ‘stars’ in their clubs.”
But as always, the Annual Gentlemen’s Club EXPO makes it a pleasure to do business. In addition to the 120-booth Tradeshow, showcasing the top products and services available for the club industry, evening parties, special events and the Annual Adult Nightclub & Exotic Dancer Awards Show will provide EXPO attendees with plenty of opportunity to network while having a great time. This year’s Awards Show promises to deliver a unique experience, as the brand new Criss Angel Theater at Planet Hollywood will house the multi-million-dollar gentlemen’s club industry’s premier event on Tuesday, August 13th.

planet1For more on the Annual EXPO, including early registration discounts, Premium VIP Registration, exhibitor and sponsor information, visit theEDexpo.com or call (727) 726-3592 today.

TheEDPub.com re-brands as ExoticDancer.com

ExoticDancercom newlogoED Publications’ TheEDPub.com re-brands as ExoticDancer.com

Site to boast the most comprehensive online listing of strip clubs in the U.S.

Back in 1991, before email and the internet would dominate the way we communicate with one another, before illegal music downloading and the grunge music revolution, before Bill Clinton was elected President of the U.S., a company called Exotic Dancer was born. It began as a single magazine—actually, a print “directory”—of strip clubs nationwide. It was the first of its kind anywhere, and eventually led to the Exotic Dancer Bulletin, a quarterly (then bimonthly) business magazine, and to the Annual Adult Nightclub & Exotic Dancer Awards Show, held each year since 1998 at the Annual Gentlemen’s Club EXPO.
Though many in this industry know all of this as being produced by “ED,” some may not know that the “ED” stands for Exotic Dancer. And ever since the first ExoticDancer.com website was launched in 1998, that URL has only increased in popularity on the internet, especially within web search engines. In fact, ED Publications owns the trademark on the term “Exotic Dancer.” Which got us to thinking,“Why aren’t we utilizing such a powerful, trademarked term like ‘Exotic Dancer’ to our full advantage?”
That’s exactly why ED Publications is re-branding our new TheEDPub.com website as ExoticDancer.com. The site will still be the FIRST and ONLY website that not only distributes news and information for adult nightclub industry professionals, but is also dedicated to the entertainers and to the fans of strip club entertainment. Exotic Dancer Publications has been the trusted source for the strip club industry since 1991, and will continue to be at ExoticDancer.com.
“With the URL change, we are giving our site a better opportunity to get noticed by and gain traction with more people; more entertainers, more strip club fans, more industry pros,” says ED Publications’ Associate Publisher, Dave Manack. “This increased visibility for the site is great for our site’s advertisers, for our company and for the industry collectively.”
To further enhance this position as the online industry leader, ExoticDancer.com will soon include the most comprehensive and accurate online listing of strip clubs found anywhere on the internet.
“After seeing so many inaccurate club listings on other websites—and knowing that we have the most detailed, up-to-date U.S. strip club database—we knew it was time to share this information with our site’s users,” adds Manack. “This will allow us to further cement ExoticDancer.com as the hub for everything that relates to the strip club industry on a national scale.”

For more information, including special web advertising rates, call ED Publications at (727) 726-3592, visit ExoticDancer.com or email kris@edpublications.com.

EDI Contests locked in for 2019

edinternationalsCenterfolds Cabaret Vegas and Pony Club Memphis to host EDI Contests in 2019

The industry’s premier showgirl competition, the EXOTIC DANCER Invitational, returns for its sixth straight year.

ED Publications, producers of the industry’s most prestigious “showgirl” dance competition—the EDIs—have announced the dates and venues for the 2019 EXOTIC DANCER Invitational East and West Contests. The EDI West will once again be held at Centerfolds Cabaret in Las Vegas, April 24-26, while Jerry Westlund’s Pony Club in Memphis will host the EDI East June 5-7.
“Las Vegas proved to be the perfect home for the EDI West, which made it very easy for us to return to Centerfolds Cabaret,” says Dave Manack, Founder of the EDI Contest and ED Publications’ Associate Publisher. “Centerfolds’ owner Steve Paik, manager Dane Hansen and the rest of the club’s staff truly understand the unique style of entertainment that is presented by today’s top showgirl features, and we can’t wait to see what amazing shows these first-class feature entertainers will bring to this year’s EDI contest!”
After hosting the EDI East in 2017 at his Indianapolis club, noted feature showgirl enthusiast Jerry Westlund has returned to host the EDI East in 2019 at his Memphis venue, one of the top clubs in his Pony Clubs/Fantasy Showclubs chain.
“We are very happy to be working with Jerry again, because there are few people in the country who ‘get’ showgirl entertainment as clearly as he does,” says Manack. “When Jerry is involved in an EDI, we know that’s it’s going to be a fun and memorable event!”
The EDI contests showcase entertainers in two divisions competing on three straight nights: Newcomers (entertainers with two years or less of “feature” experience) compete on the first night; Showgirls (established feature entertainers) compete on the second night; and the top three competitors from each division compete in the Finals on the last night of the competition. Cash prizes are awarded for both divisions, as well as main titles and mini titles (including sashes and trophies). In addition, the winner of the Showgirl Division will become an automatic nominee for the ED’s Overall Entertainer of the Year, the most prestigious award in the industry for national, touring feature entertainers. (Note: Division assignments are at the discretion of the contest producers.)

The EDI contests are co-produced by Lexi Lamour, and are sponsored by GentClubShirts.com. Entertainers interested in being considered for invitation to either EDI West or EDI East should contact Dave Manack or Kristofer Kay at dave@edpublications.com or kris@edpublications.com, or call the ED office at (727) 726-3592. For more information, visit theEDIs.com and ExoticDancer.com.

Keeping it all under CONTROL

clubcontrol1Club Control Systems has long been an active vendor associated with gentlemen’s clubs. Now, Warren Cato and the team at Club Control are rolling out an upgrade to maximize efficiency so owners and operators can focus on patrons,

Club Control Systems (CCS) has toiled for four years, soliciting advice and feedback from gentlemen’s club owners, managers, bartenders, waitresses and entertainments.
In August, a cadre of CCS employees descended on the tradeshow floor of the 2018 Gentlemen’s Club EXPO to unveil their newest software. While still ironing out the last details, it was clear from their presentation at the booth and fervor with which all the delegates spoke that Club Control Systems had broken through with software that truly matched its name.
ED Publications spoke with Raymond Curl, VP of Operations at CCS, who was on hand at EXPO to explain the tech and function behind the new software to get more intel on the software’s flexibility, efficiency and compatibility (spoiler: it works with any club).

ED: How long have you been working on what you unveiled at EXPO in August?  

CURL: We have been working on our CCS platform solution for over four years. We spent the first two years meeting with owners, managers, bartenders, waitresses and entertainers, collecting requirements.

ED: I know your software is pretty flexible to accommodate most clubs; what comes standard or how is the software packaged without any customization? How is it that your software can cater to so many different clubs?

CURL: It was designed from day one with flexibility in mind. We learned from talking with all the different clubs that although, in general, they do the same things to earn revenue, they each have their own little unique differences in accomplishing it. One size does not fit all and we decided that we wanted to be the company that supports how a club wants to operate and not how we want it to operate. So, I guess the answer is that we don’t have standard software package. We are going to configure each of the individual solutions on our platform to their needs:  point of sale solution; entertainer management solution (dance tracking, VIP room tracking, kiosk entertainer purchases, non-kiosk entertainer purchases); front door sales; employee time clock process; consolidated reporting across all individual solutions; back office reporting.

ED: For the uninitiated, talk about the benefits of having cloud-based software?

CURL: We actually have a hybrid solution. There is a local server that supports the operations of the club, but that server constantly feeds data to and gets data from our cloud server. So the local operation does not rely on the cloud server at all. Having a cloud server allows us to provide a club access to its data (reports or dashboard screens) at any time through a web portal. Short of the internet being down, the data is as close to real-time as it can be. So a club owner can get a snapshot look at data or run reports at any point in the day. The cloud server is also the tool from which we send remote system updates and make configuration changes. All this cloud-based access is physically separate from local databases and has no effect on the local IT systems that support operations. It really fits the overall solution as more of a support role to the core system.

ED: I’m a club owner/manager and a prospective client, but say I’m a bit suspicious of technology and not that well-versed in it—what am I getting with Club Control Systems newest technology?

CURL: Our system was designed to make the club more efficient when they are the busiest. We don’t do that by making their process more complicated. We understand that some clubs still work in a pad and paper world and we take great care in making sure our clients understand how we are using technology to improve their process. Besides the speed that technology can obviously provide a process, it can also add a layer of security. Clubs tend to use a number of different manual and IT processes to solve their process problems. Compiling information from multiple sources into their end of day reports and summary data is an opportunity for both legitimate mistakes, as well as nefarious activity. It is also important to note that in an IT solution, transactions that are all timestamped and historical data that is easily retrieved is indispensable when the IRS or employment attorneys come calling. As we have witnessed at many clubs, having to go through boxes of paperwork for days at a time, to retrieve information for their lawyers to use to defend a case, is a process that I would think they would want to eliminate as soon as possible.

ED: What’s the single biggest luxury of implementing your technology in a club?

CURL: We stress the importance of a single platform solution. We witnessed club managers, night after night, going through their closeout process, which involved taking and combining information from many different independent manual and IT processes.  Besides the fact that there is opportunity for data entry mistakes, as well as nefarious activity, it took time to do it and it delayed their closeout of the day with waitresses, bartenders, front door people, and entertainers. Plus, they need all the data summarized and compiled so that it could be sent off to the owner or headquarters. Since we have all the data from all the individual processes on one platform, we already have all the data in one place and we can organize data any way the club wants it (viewable screen or report) to make their closeout and HQ reporting requirements far more efficient.  If, eventually, the HR pendulum swings back to making all entertainers full-time employees again, a club is going to want to be able to do efficient closeouts, since they are going to be paying employees for time when they are not even able to earn the club any revenue.

ED: How does this system benefit club owners/managers vs. club staff (from entertainers to DJs and bar staff) vs. customers?

CURL: An efficient process benefits everyone. Club owners make more revenue since managers are doing a better job of managing the entertainer activity. Managers have access to real time data, so they can make better decisions and turn over VIP room rentals more effectively.  It is much easier for VIP manager and waitresses to do an entertainer purchase. DJs have access to screens that show what entertainers are currently active in a dance or in the VIP room. Bar staff can better handle dancer drinks, where dancers share revenue with the club, since the system automatically calculates the splits on the fly to make the end-of-night closeout much easier. Customers should be the happiest of all, since it will cut down delays. 

For more information, please visit Clubcontrolsys.com or call (888) 698-4905.

Statewide organizing / lobbying assoc.

teamstate logooffer their latest news on recent and upcoming meetings, pending legislation and more.

We reached out to each active statewide association to get an update on their latest activity, upcoming meetings and more. These are the states who responded with fresh updates.

Florida (SEA)
 
FL SEA, like most of the nation, watched the 2018 November elections with great anticipation. The Sunshine State potentially had an opportunity to “go blue” for the first time in almost 60 years but fell short of that goal and remains, predominately, in Republican control. Broward and Palm Beach Counties caught national flack for their voting results delays and discovering thousands of ballots post election.
Alas, order was restored, ballots counted and whether or not justice prevailed is matter of opinion among the voters. Palm Beach was also the scene of another potentially business-leveling ordinance when there was talk of limiting the hours of alcohol sales. Talk turned into agendas and agendas blossomed into meetings. Club operators called SEA, lawyers, and lobbyists. More conference calls. More panic. More grumblings about the machinations of politics and the absurdity of it all.
Luke Lirot, SEA Advisory, attended the first Palm Beach meeting and had experts on standby. Angelina Spencer, SEA ED had the local studies and lobbyists ready to go. In the end, it took one friendly phone call to inquire where this was headed: nowhere. And that’s exactly where it went.

Three COAST meetings are on the horizon for late January-February in Tampa, Miami and Orlando areas. It is hoped we’ll also be able to host a meeting in the Palm Beach area too.
We’re all watching Joe Redner, owner of Mons Venus and FL SEA Member, along with his attorney Luke Lirot, kick ass in Tallahassee for Florida voters, on the marijuana referendum lawsuit. Joe, as a stage four lung cancer patient is fighting for the right to grow his own medicine and also to be issued a medical dispensary license under FloriGro, a company he’s invested with. Thus far, the courts have ruled in his favor.

As we gear up for the 2019 session, we don’t really see this industry as a main target for the next couple of years but one never knows. The moment you lay down your guard is usually the moment you’re sucker punched with a sin tax or accused of being problem number-one for sex trafficking (actually, according to federal and NGO data, the number-one problem for sex trafficking is the internet and number two is the Florida hotel industry, but they have a bigger lobby).
Our problems may be larger on the periphery when it comes to healthcare coverage, lawsuits and “fees” to cover victim services. In attending events or speaking with elected officials, lobbyists and concerned constituents report to SEA that limited government, in the form of some deregulation that helps small businesses, particularly transportation industries, or a bill that clears up convoluted regulatory laws, is on the horizon. Spencer will be in Tallahassee for a few client Lobby Days this year, and also meeting with colleagues there, all of which promise to be interesting.
Should you have any questions or want to know more, please contact Angelina Spencer, FL SEA Executive Director at aspencer@empowermentpr.com.

Michigan (ACE of Michigan)

ACE of Michigan, the state’s pioneering adult nightclub association for 19 years, hosted a star-studded membership meeting at Jacoby’s in Detroit on Nov. 14. The featured speakers were five of the state’s top adult nightclub executives: Bo Wilhelm, GM of DG’s – Lincoln Park and Déjà Vu Showgirls – Ypsilanti; Eddie Rice, DG’s AGM; Stephen Titus, the owner of Vegas Strip Gentlemen’s Club in Battle Creek; Paul Ratliff, Vegas Strip’s GM and Shaun Vora, manager of Kalamazoo’s Déjà Vu Showgirls and Little Darlings.
The five conducted a spirited discussion on two related topics critical to club operators everywhere: How to motivate entertainers and employees and how to build and maintain teams within a club.

The speakers received high praise from the attendees of the November membership meeting. ACE of Michigan member Karl Jones, a banker with no previous hospitality or adult entertainment experience, bought Sensations Nightclub in Grand Rapids two years ago. Several months before that, he reached out to ACE of Michigan Executive Director Larry Kaplan for advice on his new venture. Kaplan put Jones together with Scott Ellis, Executive Director of the Michigan Licensed Beverage Association (MLBA), ACE Michigan’s influential strategic partner and the two helped Jones navigate his transition. Since opening, Jones has attended nearly every ACE of Michigan meeting, including this one and two Gentlemen’s Club Expos.

“As a new owner, I get the benefit of going to meetings and EXPOs and learning from the experience of other club owners and managers who’ve already done this; I don’t need to come up with a better idea,” Jones said. “I am able to pick the brains of established, successful operators and incorporate some of the best ideas into expanding our business and making us more successful.”

Jones added, “The five speakers at the November meeting were absolutely helpful. With my lack of industry experience, it’s been learn-on-the-go. Even though I have a seasoned staff, having the ability to interact with other owners as a resource, and to see what they’re doing in all areas of the business is extremely helpful.”

Avenue Gentlemen’s Club (formerly Potter’s Pub) in Jackson, which has operated since 1970, is one of Michigan’s oldest adult nightclubs. Avenue’s co-owner and ACE of Michigan member for 19 years, Kris Minix, enjoyed the November meeting.
“I got a lot out of it,” explained Minix, who has 32 years of industry experience. “After all these years, I realize maybe my way of doing things isn’t the best way anymore. I want to pick up new ways of operating, going into the future. Stephen, Bo, Eddie, Paul and Shaun are all very successful and each shared great information.”

Featured speaker Bo Wilhelm, an industry veteran of 25 years, has long been a supporter of ACE of Michigan but was unfortunately employed until recently by clubs without the foresight to join the Michigan trade group.
Kaplan has known Wilhelm for at least 23 years, since he was a sharp up-and-coming manager at Subi’s in Southgate. It was clear even then that Wilhelm was going places.
“I think ACE of Michigan is amazing,” explained Wilhelm. I’ve been an ACE supporter for all of its 19 years and I feel it’s my duty to communicate its tremendous value to clubs that are unaware, so as to push ACE of Michigan forward, for everybody’s benefit. If clubs really understood what ACE does, they would be 100% behind it.

“I’ve learned from you and the old timers and attorney Brad Shafer and I pick up great tips at the annual Expo panels,” Wilhelm continued. “Now it’s my turn to pass that knowledge on to this next generation.”
Wilhelm says, if not for ACE of Michigan meetings, he would likely not have met and developed a tremendous friendship with his fellow speaker, Vegas Strip owner Stephen Titus.
“Now, when Stephen or I need something, we can call each other,” Wilhelm says. “We are all in the same business. There’s no reason we can’t work together to solve problems. We don’t have to share trade secrets to help one another.”
“Something goes through my mind whenever I go to an ACE of Michigan meeting or the annual Gentlemen’s Club EXPO,” explained Titus. “I’m with the top people in my industry. At an ACE meeting, I may not know everybody, but I know I’m sitting with people who give a damn about what they’re doing.”

Titus continued, “The more every operator puts effort into running each of their clubs right, the more money every club makes. I’ll support ACE of Michigan in any way I can. ACE has been a tremendous value for me. I’ve gotten eight or ten dollars of value back for every dollar it’s cost me. I feel like I’m part of something with the camaraderie that’s developed between me and numerous ACE members. Among them, Bo and many others in the Déjà Vu group have made me feel like family, though I’m not part of their organization. Karl Jones and Kris Minix and others always welcome my calls. And that came about because ACE of Michigan Executive Director Larry Kaplan organized the meetings and events and brought us all together. Now, when I have a problem to solve, I have other smart operators I can reach out to.”

Special thanks to our stellar speakers, Bo Wilhelm, Eddie Rice, Stephen Titus, Paul Ratliff and Shaun Vora, manager of Déjà Vu Showgirls. Additional thanks to Shaun Vora for working with ACE of Michigan to develop the highly successful format and agenda for the current series of membership meetings.
Should you have any questions or want to know more, please contact Larry Kaplan, ACE of Michigan Executive Director at acemichigan@gmail.com.

New Jersey (NJHEA)

As of Dec. 8th,  2018, ACE of New Jersey is tracking seven bills which pertain to adult nightclubs. ACE of New Jersey tracks all bills four times a day, which contain a search word which would be found in an adult cabaret bill or SOB.
ACE of New Jersey found words in our search list that we needed to read and review, to ensure it is not a bill which affects our industry. This does not include the seven bills which are of an adult nature, and ACE of New Jersey tracks and follows the bills movements.
Tip Wage Act/Under Minimum Wage (1) -we found the minimum wage in NJ will go up to $15 per hour. A-15 posted on 12/6/2018.
Sex- (3) S3253 12/06/2018  Job applicants’ gender-proh. inquiry S3261 12/06/2018  Isolated Confinement Restriction Act. These are not billed which pertain to our industry.

Pole Tax- (3) A3699 12/06/2018  Out-of-St. emp.-excludes cert. taxes S2518 12/06/2018  Out-of-St. emp.-excludes cert. S3268 12/06/2018  Sch. constr. responsibilities-concerns. These bills do not pertain to our industry
This is the reason why ACE of New Jersey must read and review bills that contain any of our search words. If all these bills are not read we could miss one and that would have a most negative outcome.

Pennsylvania (PHEA)

As of Dec. 8, there are no new bills, or ­­­­­legislation, on the state or local levels, which would harm adult entertainment facilities in Pennsylvania.
Industry alert: I received information this week, from several of our Pennsylvania Members, that Bank of America (BOA) advised them in writing, that due to the nature of their business, adult nightclubs, BOA asked them to close all their accounts. These accounts have been open for decades, and in good standing. When Wells Fargo bought Wachovia Bank, Wells Fargo advised many adult nightclub owners that they needed to close all their business and personal accounts and these owners had to pay back any loans which were outstanding. If you have received a letter from your bank, advising that you must close all your accounts, due to the nature of your business, please let me know.

Bill Tracking: Bill Tracking is conducted four times a day, five days a week, to ensure, no bill or legislation goes undetected, which could harm our industry. News articles (online and print) in Pennsylvania and from around the country, which are hundreds each week, are read and reviewed, seven days a week, to ensure there is no other information which could harm our industry—or, to find information which could be helpful to the PHEA.
The PHEA uses key search words, to detect bills which may harm our industry in Pennsylvania. The PHEA, also depends on other sources and relationships, which have been developed over the last 12 years to identify if there is any information which seeks to impose negative challenges, upon the gentlemen’s club industry in the state of Pennsylvania.

Members are notified immediately, should a bill be detected that could harm our industry.
Instantaneous action is taken to stop the bill from proceeding, once identified. The PHEA will use all our available resources to prevent a bad bill from becoming a bad law.
This includes: attorneys, expert witnesses, academic peer reviewed and published studies, and reports.

Should you have any questions or want to know more about ACE of New York, PHEA or NJHEA, please contact Jeff Levy, executive director at jeff@ks-law.com.

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