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Industry News

Recent news stories in the adult nightclub industry.

ACE National

in ace 2014State of the Union 2014: 15 Years Strong!

It was 1999 in Chicago, a city of BIG Bosses.  It was here, in a hotel suite, that some of the power players in the adult club business gathered 15 years ago.

Hey 'Melo, free lap dances for life! Will the lure of "free lap dances" lure prized NBA free agent Carmelo Anthony to sign with either the New York Knicks or Chicago Bulls? When you're about to sign a contract worth mega-million dollars, that's highly unlikely. Still, that hasn't stopped two adult nightclubs—Scores in New York and the Admiral Theater in Chicago—from making their pitch to 'Melo. 

2014 "ED's" Adult Nightclub & Exotic Dancer Awards

14awardTop adult nightclub & staff nominees revealed for 2014 "ED's" Adult Nightclub & Exotic Dancer Awards

 Eight top clubs nominated for the Overall Gentlemen’s Club of the Year Award

June 20, 2014, Clearwater, FL: Its been dubbed as the Oscarsof the adult nightclub industry, the crowning event of the Annual Gentlemens Club Owners EXPO and an evening worthy of celebration. The Annual Adult Nightclub & Exotic Dancer Awards Showknown more frequently as the EDs Awardswill return for its 17th straight year at the 2014 EXPO at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Once again, the House of Blues, located directly inside Mandalay Bay and boasting a national reputation as one of the nations best live music venues, will play host to the show.

Don "Weasel" DalPonte

weasel 1 passes away from cancer

Longtime Wisconsin club owner Don “Weasel” DalPonte, who was a founding member of the national Association of Club Executives (ACE) and an inductee into the Exotic Dancer Hall of Fame, passed away April 19. Dalponte, who was 63, had been diagnosed with advanced lymphoma.

Most of the industry’s top feature entertainers from the past two decades earned their stripes working at DalPonte’s club, Weasel’s Sportsman’s Rendezvous (later renamed Weasel’s Exotic Entertainment), in Eagle River, Wisconsin, where the top booking agencies would send their new recruits for training.

DalPonte was a fixture at the Annual Gentlemen’s Club Owners EXPO and one of the first members of the national Association of Club Executives Board of Directors. “When we put together the ACE Board we wanted to make sure that, in addition to the big club chains, the voice of the smaller single club operator would be heard,” says ED Publisher Don Waitt. “For many years DalPonte was that voice.”

DalPonte was inducted into the EXOTIC DANCER Hall of Fame in 2008. Asked how he got the nickname “Weasel,” DalPonte recalls he was working at a bar in Chicago in the late 1970s, and was frequently asked to deal with local police when they were called.  DalPonte said, “I guess I had to weasel out of things.  Plus, they told me I sort of look like a Weasel.”

In 1981, he opened Weasel’s Sportsman’s Rendezvous in the small town of Eagle River.  More easily reached by snowmobile than automobile in the winter months, Weasel’s quickly became home to fishers, hunters, and those vacationing at the world’s largest chain of lakes.

Around 2000, DalPonte was first diagnosed with cancer. Though given only a 30 percent chance to live, he refused an operation, took experimental medicine, and beat the odds—at least for a while.

In February 2011, DalPonte was the victim of a home invasion, during which he was shot and beaten by two men wearing ski masks.  Though he originally appeared to have recovered quickly from these injuries, DalPonte was admitted to the hospital in December 2011, complaining of headaches and memory loss, among other issues.

In what can only be described as a tragic case of bad luck, while DalPonte was in the hospital on New Year’s Eve, 2011, his club burned to the ground. The fire broke out just after 7 p.m. on December 31, and thankfully, the club was closed at the time of the fire.

To make a donation that contributes to DalPonte’s three daughters, send a check made out to Dolly Miller with a notation for “The DalPonte Girls.” The address is Dolly Miller, 7310 Marlboro Road, Crystal Lake, IL 60012

Nice try, Commissioner!

daytona beachSex for less policing? Um, no!

Daytona Beach Commissioner Carl Lentz went just a little too far during his visit to Club Topic when he had the bright idea to demand sex from a female server. He thought that his prestigious status as Commissioner—and the threat of city action against the club—would be persuasion enough to convince the poor girl to adhere to his drunken demands. According to William Bittorf, the son of the owner of Club Topic, the come-on was a result of one too many drinks, which was also the result of his irate behavior when he was abruptly denied. 

“He threw a drink on her,” Bittorf told the police officer who responded to his 911 call. “The girl ran behind the bar to get away from him. He tried to go behind the bar and I stood in his way... he said he was going to call the chief and have us shut down.”

 Commissioner Lentz was seen out of the club with a trespass warning and banishment from Club Topic. Sorry Commissioner, but “less policing” just isn’t a fair trade for sex these days. 

For more information, please visit

President Obama calls strip club owner!

obamaphoneCheetah of Florida's Joe Rodriguez gets the call.

For the first time—well, ever—an adult nightclub owner received a phone call from a sitting President. In this case, it was President Obama who called the Cheetah clubs' Joe Rodriguez, who owns several Cheetah locations in Florida. Why on Earth would the President call an adult nightclub owner? Did he want preferential treatment in the VIP area?

Not quite. In fact, it was to bestow a Medal of Honor on Rodriguez's late Uncle, U.S. Army Pvt. Miguel Vera, who was among 24 men who served in conflicts spanning World War II to Vietnam. Their heroism was apparently overlooked, and they are now being retroactively awarded America’s highest award for valor. Rodriguez has been invited to the White House to accept the Medal of Honor on his uncle's behalf.

“It sounded just like him. I was in shock,” Rodriguez was quoted as saying to the Miami Herald, noting also that he loved his uncle "like a brother." Rodriguez described his uncle as a slight, shy private who knew what to do on the last day of his life as an automatic rifleman with Company F of the 2nd Infantry Division’s 38th Infantry Regiment.

Someone will recite the story at the White House on Tuesday, March 25th. As Rodriguez tells it, the private fell wounded and was being carried off the battlefield when he saw his fellow soldiers’ morale in jeopardy.

“My uncle got off the stretcher, rallied the troops and said, ‘We’ve got to go,’ ” Rodriguez said, quoting accounts of how Vera led a terrifying charge up the hill. “There was mayhem, hand-to-hand combat, bayonet fighting,” he added.

Automatic weapons and grenade fire, artillery and mortar barrages were of such intensity that his platoon fell back, according to an account issued by the Department of the Army on April 29, 1953. But not Vera. “He selflessly remained behind to cover the withdrawal and, maintaining a determined stand, poured crippling fire into enemy emplacements,” according to his Distinguished Service Cross citation. “During this action he lost his life.”

For more information, please visit:

Really Navy?

navy storyClubs: The Navy doesn't want your donations!

Nearly three months after the charity golf event took place—an event that included two unnamed Central Florida adult nightclubs—Navy Capt. John P. Heatherington was removed from his post as commanding officer of the Naval Ordnance Test Unit. Vice Adm. specifically for allowing adult businesses to be one of the charity event sponsors. Terry Benedict, director of Strategic Systems Programs, made the decision more than two weeks after the allegation of impropriety was brought to leadership in Washington.

Atlanta—the #1 strip club destination?

Vice MagazineVice's Joanna Fuertes-Knight concludes it is.

According to London-based journalist Joanna Fuertes-Knight, Atlanta is, indeed, the adult nightclub industry's hottest destination. Vice Magazine’s mini-documentary, ‘Atlanta: Strip City’, explores the city’s “growing dichotomy” as the ‘strip club capital’, following Fuertes-Knight on a first-person tour of some of the city’s hottest adult nightclubs and related venues and individuals. Feurtes-Knight interviews a host of players in the Atlanta strip club world, including superstar strippers, a buttock implant doctor and club management in three of the city’s most notorious clubs. Her conclusion? All those rumors have a glimpse of truth in them—and Atlanta really is the strip club capital of the world. 

For more information or to watch the entire documentary, please visit

The culture of Kardashian claims its first victim.

butt injectionDeadly butt-enhancement injections on the rise.

Pebbelz Da Model has proven that no butt is safe from the big-booty trend that is sweeping the nation. The adult entertainer, age 40, was convicted of manslaughter after a silicone buttocks injection went terribly wrong. Karima Gordon, the 37-year-old victim of this derriere dolor, died from a silicone embolism in her lungs a week after falling prey to the lure of a bodacious backside.

Sapphires refuses Bieber entry.

justin-bieber-mug-shotTeen star can't Belieb it! (But we can)

Not even Bieber's dashing good looks could get him inside Sapphire. The imfamous teeny bopper has been making a splash in the adult nightclub scene lately—but not the kind that is aptly welcomed. Sapphire in New York finally took a stand against the under-ager and his habit of leaving behind a trail of negative press and titty-licking pictures. Justin Bieber was barred from entering the club, after “they decided he wasn’t worth the trouble.

Safety first:

Hjelmeland1Strip club bouncer justified in shooting.

Portland grand jury recognizes self-defense for what it is.

On January 11th, Thomas Elliot Hjelmeland was denied entry into Portland’s Mystic Gentleman’s Club on the basis that he was behaving belligerently and openly making racial slurs. He retaliated from this rejection by returning 30 minutes later wearing a Halloween mask and armed with a revolver. He then proceeded to open fire within the club, leaving one of the venue’s bouncers in critical condition and two others wounded. Before he could do any further damage, another bouncer, Jonathan Baer, shot the gunman after being left with no other choice. Although Hjelmeland later died from the wound and the incident is no doubt tragic, what bouncer Baer did was nonetheless heroic and this fact was recognized by the grand jury, who ruled that Baer did not commit a crime and his use of deadly force was justified due to the nature of the situation. 

For more information, please visit

Strippers primed to get serious game.

2014 superbowlFootball players aren’t the only ones warming up for the Super Bowl.

With the biggest sporting event in history only days away, the Seahawks and Broncos are no doubt busy making last minute preparations for this highly-anticipated Super Bowl. But they aren’t the only ones armed with Icy Hot and ibuprofen—the city’s exotic dancers are predicting quite the turnout from the NFL fans that will flock New York during this time.

“It’s a really exciting time for us,” says Shaun Kevlin, manager of Vivid Cabaret, the newly opened home of the city’s tallest stripper pole standing at 25 feet. “It’s definitely going to be the biggest week of the year.”

Kevlin expects his club to be packed to maximum capacity, with all 90 dancers on his roster ready to play.

For more information, please visit

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