Much like night clubs, strip clubs in the Okanagan Valley seem to be going the way of the Dodo, but one Penticton business owner is having great success offering exotic dancers out of their establishment. Pirate’s Cove Beach House is one of a handful of strip clubs left in the valley. (Photo from Unsplash)

Peeling away: OK strip clubs disappearing

Hear from Penticton’s only strip club owner about their success in a dying industry

There has been much speculation in recent years that night life in the Okanagan Valley is changing, with the closure of night clubs and the increase in pub and restaurants.

Strip clubs do not seem to be exempt from this trend either, with only a few remaining in the valley compared to the dozen that were operating over a decade ago.

According to city staff from Vernon, Salmon Arm and Penticton, legislation regarding strip club operations have not changed within the cities, meaning it is just as easy for these businesses to operate today as was the case when the industry was booming.

Some regulations these establishments need to abide by, according to the Liquor & Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB), include posting a sign at the entrance notifying patrons that the business offers adult entertainment, performances are to be confined to a stage or other approved areas and exotic dancers cannot hold any other position in the establishment while working in their role as an entertainer.

READ ALSO: UPDATE: Fire leaves Slack Alice’s in ruins

One business in Penticton, Pirate’s Cove Beach House, recently started offering exotic dancers. This is the only establishment in the city to do so, since Slack Alice’s Show Pub burnt down in 2012.

“We opened (Pirate’s Cove Beach House) the second week in July (2018) and we were busy all through the summer,” said establishment co-owner Verna Callihoo. “It was packed in here with both floors. We have a full bar upstairs with a patio, plus our main floor patio so we were full all the time.”

Callihoo said she and her husband purchased the bar, located at 3502 Skaha Lake Rd., in June 2018 but they did not consider shifting operations to a strip club until months later. The decision was related to the success they saw when the bar hosted an anniversary celebration for Slack Alice’s establishment.

“In November and January it was pretty slow. We held events like New Year’s which was busy, but otherwise it was slow. In February, it was the seven year anniversary of Slack Alice’s burning down so that’s when we decided to do an ‘In Memory of Slack Alice’s’,” said Callihoo. “So we got permission to use their logo and we made T-shirts and hats and sold them as a fundraiser. Then we got the Slack Alice’s original stripper pole, which was a big hit with everyone. It was an attraction because everyone wanted their picture with it. And sales that night were phenomenal.”

Callihoo said her husband had reached out to the city to ensure they could begin offering exotic dancers as entertainment at the establishment. According to staff with the city, Pirate’s Cove is located within a zone that allows that type of entertainment and the establishment is governed by their primary liquor licence regulations when it comes to exotic dancers.

READ ALSO: An Okanagan strip club crawls back into the spotlight

“The people of Penticton, when we had that memorial night, were just like ‘Oh my god, you guys are so awesome. Thank you so much for bringing this back.’ And they said this is what Penticton needs because everyone misses Slack’s,” said Callihoo. “Everyone that comes through my doors is happy that we have exotic entertainment.”

Callihoo couldn’t speak to why there are fewer strip clubs operating in the valley these days, but noted that her establishment does not look like the stereotypical venue most people picture. The interior is bright, well lit and clean, instead of dim and dingy.

She is unsure if the business will continue to operate as a strip club year round or if they will choose to offer exotic dancers during the winters only to make it through the slow season. But Callihoo and her husband aren’t the only two reigniting the industry, with Kelowna’s Cheetah’s Show Lounge opening its doors again after a four-year hiatus.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
JordynThomson 
Send Jordyn Thomson an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

In photos: Uptown Askew’s Family Day

The Uptown Askew’s Family Day event was filled with classic cars, face… Continue reading

Word on the street: Has the wet July weather put a damper on your summer any?

Due to the wetter-than-usual July weather, the Observer asked: Has the wet… Continue reading

CSRD to support cannabis growth in agricultural zones

Regional district revision brings policy in line with Agricultural Land Commission

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Showers to start weekend, sun returning soon

Environment Canada forecasts rain on Saturday and the heat returning next week

South Shuswap residents kick waste collection concept to the curb

Area C residents prefer existing depot system, suggest more enforcement

July showers wash out half of the Okanagan’s cherry crop

Cherry growers say this is the worst season they’ve seen in decades

Donkeys await your hugs and scritches at anniversary event

Turtle Valley Donkey Refuge invites public to help celebrate 20 years of care.

Canadian high school science courses behind on climate change, says UBC study

Researchers found performance on key areas varies by province and territory

Six inducted into BC Hockey Hall of Fame

The 26th ceremony in Penticton welcomed powerful figures both from on and off the ice

COLUMN: Looking back to a time of optimism

The first lunar landing 50 years ago was a time to celebrate dreams and accomplishments

Highway 1 closed near Revelstoke

No estimated time for opening

RCMP investigate two shootings in the Lower Mainland

Incidents happened in Surrey, with a victim being treated at Langley Memorial Hospital

CRA program to help poor file taxes yields noticeable bump in people helped

Extra money allows volunteer-driven clinics to operate year-round

Most Read