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In tough economy Las Vegas strip clubs offer discounts

Things are still tough in Las Vegas. Check out this article about the state of business at strip clubs.

Times are rough in Las Vegas, even for Sin City’s second-most lucrative vice.

With the recession still dragging down discretionary spending, just the opportunity to ogle — or fantasize about your chances with — dozens of beautiful naked women isn’t enough to pack in the tourists these days. So a number of Las Vegas strip clubs are offering discounts and freebies to seal the deal, particularly during off-peak hours.

Some, such as Cheetah’s, will give you two-for-one lap dances every afternoon.

Others, like the Can Can Room and Crazy Horse III, halve the price of a lap dance that usually costs $20 for three to 4½ minutes at an all-nude club or two minutes at a topless joint.

These clubs are a huge business in Vegas, and it’s a great barometer of the overall economy.

“For years, Las Vegas has pretended like the adult community doesn’t exist,” says Wayne Bridge, CEO of the Sin City Chamber of Commerce, an alliance of adult-oriented businesses. “It’s a huge part of the economy and it’s really helping to carry a lot of people.”

At last count, there are 32 active strip clubs and between 30,000 and 40,000 registered exotic dancers in the Las Vegas Valley. On weeknights, some 1,500 women bump and grind at clubs here; weekends, that number doubles or triples.

“It’s huge,” Bridge says.

How huge?

An estimated $8 billion per year, second only to gaming as a component of the Las Vegas economy.

The freebies are working, as business has picked up. You couldn’t get a deal anywhere in Las Vegas 4 years ago. Now, the hotels, clubs and other establishments are working hard for business. It might be a good time for a trip!

  

Young entrepreneurs are leaving Russia

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin speaks during a meeting for new technology at a nuclear testing laboratory in the town of Dubna, some 120 km (75 miles) north of Moscow, July 5, 2011. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukin (RUSSIA – Tags: POLITICS)

This is a huge problem for Russia and other countries that rely on cronyism and corruption.

When he was 17 years old, Alexei Terentev, then a bookish high school student in Moscow, created what the Russian government has been desperately trying to engineer — a start-up with some of that Silicon Valley–style magic. It was innovative, cleverly marketed and could be run out of his parents’ apartment. By June of last year, when Terentev got his diploma from one of Moscow’s elite universities, his company was on its way to making him a millionaire. But it was also getting big enough, he says, “to get the wrong kind of attention from officials.” So Terentev, now 22, took no chances. One day after graduation, he packed up his laptop and emigrated to the Czech Republic, taking his company with him. He doubts he will ever return.

The reasons for his move, as well as his haste, are the typical worries of the young entrepreneurs Russia is currently hemorrhaging: corruption and bureaucracy, the forces that are driving the biggest exodus since the fall of the Soviet Union. In the past three years, 1.25 million Russians have emigrated, most of them young businesspeople and members of the middle class, according to data released in February by the head of the state’s Audit Chamber. That is about a quarter million more than left the country during the first few years after the Soviet collapse, when Russia was a political and economic basket case. Now the country is stable and the cities are thriving. But small-business owners seem to feel less safe than ever.

Russians are paying the price for the thuggish atmosphere create by Vladimir Putin and his cronies. This is one reason why fears about the decline of America are overblown.

  

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