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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

EDITORIAL: Managing wildfires

Wildfires have the potential to cause significant damage within our province

Number of Kelowna-linked COVID-19 cases grows to 159

Interior Health reported four new cases region-wide on Friday, 18 remain active

Drowning incidents increase in Okanagan as summer picks up

There are now 23 drownings in the province to date, with four from the Okanagan

Okanagan, Creston cherry and apple farms in need of workers

The worker shortage is due to the COVID-19 restrictions on international travel

New team focuses on troublesome Kelowna properties

Recently, a property owner was handed six tickets amounting to over $2,500

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

North Okanagan ranch needs support to stay afloat

Founded in 1867, a fundraiser has been launched for the Historic O’Keefe Ranch

Video: Enraged man terrifies staff and customers at Shuswap restaurant

Video on Facebook shows the man hurling profanity at workers during the dinner rush on Aug. 7.

Pup stolen from Vernon temporary shelter reunited with owner

Nicola Sanders says her son’s puppy was ‘overjoyed’ to see her owner again

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Most Read