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Twentieth time’s a charm

Scores sells to Rick’s, but what about Plan B?

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Rendering of Rick’s Cabaret

Plan B—it’s what you do when Plan A fails. No, we’re not referring to the morning-after pill, but the relatively new afterhours at Scores Las Vegas, or rather, at Rick’s Cabaret. Don’t worry. It’ll all make sense in a minute.

It’s just our luck that Scores Nightclub and Cabaret was purchased only one day prior to the Weekly’s planned visit to check out Vegas Club Scene’s Plan B Afterhours. The publicly traded Rick’s Cabaret made 3355 South Procyon Street its 20th property on Friday, September 5, and changes are already underway. Ed Anakar, director of operations for Rick’s Cabaret, says the Scores signage will be replaced by this weekend; Rick’s CEO Eric Langan was at press time flying out to Vegas Wednesday to personally oversee the changeover. “We will have a grand opening the last week of October,” Anakar adds, but notes that they will not close down for remodeling, and business will continue as usual.

Scores’ Mark Wiley explains that the myriad reasons being bandied about for the sale consist primarily of unfounded gossip, and “bankruptcy rumors are 100 percent false.” Wiley believes the deal is “a positive situation for everyone … and [Rick’s] clubs from around the country will feed this market.” Wiley also feels the acquisition “is positive for Plan B. Rick’s is a national chain, and for Plan B, it’s a great opportunity to grow and help them go national.”

The Plan B party relocated to Scores’ Sky Lounge from its previous home at Eden Gentlemen’s Club five weeks ago, after talks with Scores yielded a better business relationship. Brett Pojunis of Vegas Club Scene explains that he has since been seeing strong support from those in the nightlife industry. But at 3:25 a.m. on a Saturday, the Sky Lounge is a nearly empty room; the crowd is virtually nonexistent. However, one must take into account that this is the Saturday after Labor Day, historically one of the slowest weekends of the entire year, and other venues are enduring similarly reduced crowds.

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Rick's Cabaret

Pojunis isn’t deterred, and hopes to see Plan B branch out from the Sky Lounge. “The intent is to go full-venue,” he says, giving a late-night tour of the 25,000-square-foot club. He envisions international DJs spinning on the main stage, as opposed to the four exotic dancers provocatively crawling around at present.

Currently, Pojunis is looking to partner with multiple venues for cross-promotion. Post-takeover, Plan B’s all-female promotion team will work to support a partner nightclub venue for the first part of an evening—Plan A, if you will. Then, complimentary transportation and admission will be available to get club-goers to their second stop for the night: Plan B Afterhours at Rick’s. One can’t help but wonder if females promoting may help to alleviate some hesitancy women patrons might experience when attending an afterhours party housed within a strip club. “Our afterhours double-header program is launching in two weeks,” says Pojunis, stressing the importance of inter-club relationships, though any partners have yet to be announced.

“We’re extremely local-friendly,” Pojunis says. He cites not having to walk through a casino to reach the venue and a full fleet of transportation available as major pluses. There is also a discounted food menu for Plan B, a big bonus for those industry folks just leaving work with no more than a vodka/Red Bull in their bellies.

Plan B starts to pick up a bit as the evening progresses. Resident DJ Double J presides over the room, and the stripper who was lazily swinging around the pole in the center of the Sky Lounge is replaced by Lotus, the featured go-go dancer of the evening, who revitalizes the energy of the afterhours event.

The goal of Plan B is not to be the “after-afterhours” spot, explains Pojunis, and starting the party at the early hour of 2 a.m. may assist in this. “Our target is the 2 o’clock to 8 o’clock crowd,” he says. “The arrangement we have is when we close down, we send everybody to Seamless”—a venue that regularly sees the party going until noon or even later. With scheduled improvements such as upgraded sound and lighting coming to Rick’s Cabaret, there might not be any need for a Plan C.

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