At EXPO, our panel of “urban club” owners and operators—D.C. Glenn, formerly a DJ at legendary urban club Magic City in Atlanta and former club executive for Strokers, also in Atlanta; Jack Pepper, an industry veteran who now owns Club Babe’s in Atlanta, a club which adopted an urban format in 2012; and Ryan Weaver of the Club Onyx clubs—discussed the differences between their clubs and “traditional” adult nightclubs, why these clubs are so popular, what needs to be considered before any a club adapts a more “urban” format.
Editor’s note: Here, we’ve printed a portion of each speaker’s comments. The Q&A portion of the seminar created a lively discussion, and we will print a portion of the Q&A in the November issue.
A police chief, a congressman and a state liquor board member walk into an EXPO seminar...
At EXPO 2017, this scenario is no joke — it’s a reality! For the first time ever, three key governmental positions are represented at an EXPO seminar, as the “Government Relationships You Need For Your Club’s Future” session will feature Charles Wilson, retired commander of the Detroit Police Department, Scott Ellis, Executive Director of the Michigan Licensed Beverage Association (MLBA), and Michigan State Representative Harvey Santana.
Years ago, the only things necessary to ensure an adult nightclub would thrive were cold beer and hot dancers. Unfortunately, those days are gone. Today, club survival must involve developing and maintaining positive community, law enforcement and legislative relationships.
So how does a responsible club accomplish this and protect its right to do business and provide work for dozens, if not hundreds of workers and entertainers? Become active with their state adult nightclub association and proactively develop the necessary key association relationships with law enforcement and legislators. Partner with other hospitality trade groups that can give adult clubs credibility they could never achieve on their own.
Of all the reasons people attend the Annual EXPO, our polls consistently show that the number-one reason is to network with fellow industry pros. At EXPO 2016, the format of “State of Our Union” panel is simple: “If you could ask one of the industry’s most successful operators a question about the current state of the industry, and what the future holds for it, what would it be?”
This EXPO panel featured the aforementioned Eric Langan, Jason Mohney, Ken DeGori and Scott Lizza, all industry veterans and highly successful operators. Here, we’ve printed a portion of their EXPO presentations.