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Business Travelers (heart) Adult Clubs SLIDESHOW

The West Coast’s first Penthouse Club & Steakhouse opened in San Francisco this week (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

The Penthouse Club & Steakhouse chain opened a new outpost in San Francisco with great fanfare this week, attracting a healthy crowd to a media reception on a rainy Thursday evening in the city’s strip club gulch on Broadway at Montgomery Street. (See slideshow below.)

You may wonder why would I include the opening of an adult nightclub in a blog about frequent travel? It’s because business travelers are THE primary customer at clubs in big cities like San Francisco, New York or Las Vegas.

“Based on my experience as a club owner, I’d guesstimate that about 75% of the revenue in a well-run, upscale adult club like Penthouse comes from business travelers,” said Angelina Spencer, the executive director of ACE, the Association of Club Executives, the trade organization for the adult club industry.

Spencer said that a well-managed, well-known club like the Penthouse could expect to gross around $400,000 per week. “On average, club patrons spend around $50 per person per night, but at the higher end clubs, it’s more like $80 to $90 per guest. And that does not include tips for the dancers,” she said.

Who is the typical patron at an adult nightclub? “It’s a white collar, educated executive with an average salary in the low six figures,” she said.

The adult nightclub business is a $7.5 billion dollar a year industry, and there are 3,000 clubs in the US alone, according to the ED Club Bulletin, a trade publication. Rick’s Cabaret, one of the largest chains with 23 clubs in the US, is listed on NASDAQ and grossed $83.5 million in 2011.

ACE’s Spencer says that she opened the first Penthouse club in Cleveland with the business traveler in mind. “I had an existing club there and I was looking for a way to break out from a saturated market, so I convinced Penthouse to let us put their brand on our club. I knew that a visiting business traveler would hear the name, and know automatically that it would be one of the classiest clubs in town.”

She was right. The new Penthouse Club & Steakhouse in San Francisco is now one of 14 Penthouse clubs in the US and around the world.

Club owners say that the 15,000 sq ft San Francisco club has a “multi-million dollar interior” and a “sumptuous fine dining menu from a Michelin-rated chef” and “the most beautiful adult entertainers in San Francisco.”




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