Club industry veteran owner and operator passes away at 55.
On January 1, 2015 the adult industry lost one of its finest. The news was received with shock and disbelief. “It isn’t possible” were words repeated across South Florida. Robert Caprio, 55, was a partner in the Booby Trap chain of night clubs and a very popular owner. Immediately upon the onset of the news the mourning began on the social media. Lisa Smith, house mom at the Booby Trap Doral posted the following, “Gone but never forgotten! Genuine truly defines you. How one man has positively touched so many people’s lives is unheard of these days. But you did it. A legend is what you are. RIP BT’s Pappa Bear. I love you!”
Bo Yazdanfar. Bobby Trap Pompano’s manager, wrote, “Everyday that I worked for Rob was a scary experience; I swore that it was the day I was getting fired (lol). He demanded excellence and without compromise. He was all business on the floor. I’ll always be indebted to him for truly teaching me my trade in his own special way. ”
“A true legend. Will deeply be missed both professionally and personally,” wrote Lisa Douglas who works at Booby Trap Pompano. ”The best boss I ever had,” was the consensus of many.
Rob began his career as a lunch waiter at TJ Murphy in Orlando. It was there that legendary club owner/operator Michael J. Peter enlisted Rob, who went on to work for Michael Peter the best part of 20 years. Rob worked at the Orlando DollHouse, Ft. Lauderdale Solid Gold, Oakland Park Pure Platinum, Honolulu Pure Platinum, Platinum Live Los Angeles and a half dozen more prior to his involvement with the Booby Trap clubs.
“Rob was like a son to me and I was his dad and teacher,” said Michael. “He was my all-time favorite manager on a personal note, and one of three bests out of hundreds on a professional note!”
Yazdanfar supplied a personal memory. “Every year Phil Gori gets all his guys together for a night of food, laughter and catching up while riding around on his boat. It’s a great night of great conversation and fun. We also get to hang out on a personal level with the bosses and see the other side of them. This year it so happened that Rob, Eric Otero, Ricky Diaz, Nelson Silva and myself spent much of the evening at the front of the boat reminiscing and exchanging funny stories. I had never seen Rob in a better place, he looked great, in great spirits, laughing it up, telling us about the old days. I’m most thankful that that’s going to be my last memory of my friend.”
On Saturday night, January 10, Boca Raton, Florida, several hundred industry professionals came together at the home of his business partner and close friend Phil Gori to honor the life of Ron Caprio. They were from all the sectors of the strip club Industry, from club owners to dancers, from managers to floor men and DJs, from lawyers to media people. It was especially impressive that so many direct competitors to the Booby Trap clubs attended and that so many people knew most everyone by first name. We counted individuals from well over one dozen clubs Everyone mixed, it was outstanding how everyone circulated and extended introductions. Phil Gori was the most gracious host and his hospitality and generosity were greatly appreciated.
At the same time of the memorial, Rob Caprio’s beloved New England Patriots staged a thrilling come-from-behind playoff victory against the Baltimore Ravens, and although all the TVs were turned off, no one complained about missing the big game. It was a somber night of quiet conversation and reflection, it was a night that will be fondly remembered by all who were there. RIP Rob Caprio, we all miss you.
— Richard Kent, Xcitement Magazine
Words from Michael J. Peter
“I recruited Rob for two years at 21 & 22 years of age. He was my lunch waiter and he finally excepted when I doubled his income and he agreed to start at the bottom. Rob quickly came up the ranks! He was one of my very first management recruits when we were at seven clubs in the late ‘70s. We grew to 35 by the late ‘80s and Rob had managed 10 of them from Florida to Rhode Island to the Carolinas, as well as New York, Philadelphia, Honolulu and LA. If you put any 10 of us in a room and asked us each to name the five best qualities in a human being, and collectively we came up with the top 30 qualities in a person, then I will guarantee you Rob Caprio was the epitome of each and every quality! I had over 10,000 employees in 40 years. Rob was my favorite of all time! RIP, Little Brother.”
Words from Dennis DeGori
“Rob Caprio left us all wanting for more! Vibrant, alive, compassionate, truly a gentle man. An indelible puckish grin! Rob always left you wondering what he was up to. What he knew that you didn’t know. He wanted to tell you, he was going to tell you. But he was going to make you wonder first. That’s the Rob I know. Always fun, always genuine, always warm hearted!
“I first met Rob back in the mid-’80s when he came aboard as a MIT (manager-in-training) at Solid Gold Ft. Lauderdale. He didn’t need much training as everyone quickly found out. One of the two best operators that I ever had the pleasure to work alongside of (Fred Spears was the other). Rob replaced me after I opened Pure Platinum, Ft. Lauderdale, joined me at “Stringfellows presents Pure Platinum” in NYC and took the club to new heights as he did every club that he touched. Rob’s career has been too prolific to chronicle here, but suffice it to say that he was equally as good an operator as he was a good man.
“Back in 2003 my good friend Phil Gori and I thought to open a club in South Miami. As it turned out, I needed to take a different opportunity in Chicago. Phil asked who else could I recommend. I said, “I could recommend a lot of people, but I would recommend only one person—Rob Caprio. You’ll love him!” And love him he does! To know Rob is to love him!
“So I am at a loss to express my loss, our loss, his family’s loss. It truly pains me to think about it. As I look at his picture, his smile, I know that Rob is lighting up the heavens above and it also brings to mind one of my favorite Rob expressions that he used to deliver with that puckish Rob grin: ‘Let me tell you what God knows!’
“And so, I ask God, why did such a good, family loving man have to be taken from us all so early in life? Rob always put more into the box than he took out. I only wished that Rob was here to tell me what only God knows. I love you my friend.”
Words from Russ Benedetto
“Rob Caprio was a fellow manager and a good friend. He started one year before me with Michael Peter and Michael tells that story so well. We rarely worked the same club for The Dollhouses except at openings it seemed though that we were always close.
“Rob was sent to Hawaii to replace me and knew it would break my heart, so he got the corporate office to wait a month for him to tell me. He and I golfed most everyday and worked at Pure Platinum every night. The day finally came and he took me to a local spot that played good old Motown music and ordered a couple shots of tequila. Somehow he talked me into the first shot (which by the way started a lifelong love affair with good tequila), and then the second and so forth, until we were both stupid drunk singing songs. That’s when he broke the news to me that my job in Hawaii was over. He said he didn’t have the heart to tell me unless he was drunk, and I smiled and said that was a great idea because I didn’t give a shit now that I was drunk, and we continued to drink and have a blast! To this day it is one of my favorite memories.”
Words from David Boehm
”I knew Rob Caprio for 30 years, and we worked together on and off for many of those years. Not only was he a friend, he taught me so very much about hospitality and so much more related to the industry. The two of us are diehard Red Sox fans we shared many good times together thanks to the Boston Red Sox, and I know every game I go to at Fenway park he’ll be watching down on us. I will always remember him for that unique smile and joy that he brought to everyone.”
Caprio Cup Charity Golf Scramble
May 17, Trumps Doral, Miami
Registration: 10:30 AM
Tee Time: 12:30- 1:00 PM
Event sponsors: $5,000
Benedetto: “We have 240 spots to sell. In addition to the corporate sponsors, we will be doing the following sponsorships: Tee, cart, fairway, hole-in-one, longest drive, closest to the hole, beverage carts, bag tags, 150-yard marker, gift, raffles, 50/50, mulligans and more.
For more information, please call Russell Benedetto at (781) 812-6233