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"They're like, 'screw this, I'll get a six-pack and watch porn on the Internet'"

Mandy Powers, an exotic dancer who lives in Kelowna, will travel to Alberta more often now that there are no strip clubs in Kamloops.
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June 05, 2013 - 7:28 AM

EXOTIC DANCER SEES STRIP CLUBS AS 'DYING INDUSTRY'

KAMLOOPS — A veteran exotic dancer will face a financial hit now that there aren't any strip clubs left in Kamloops, and she's likely not alone.

Mandy Powers lives in Kelowna and works for multiple agencies that book her exotic dancing gigs throughout B.C. and Alberta.

Before the Duchess on Tranquille announced it would no longer be hosting exotic dancers, Kamloops was always a stop on Powers' circuit that was close to home. She'd been stopping in the Tournament Capital for about a decade.

Because she's responsible for her own travel expenses, no work in Kamloops means more travel and expenses on her own dime.

"It means I have to go to Alberta now more often for work," she said.

Powers was disappointed to hear that the change in ownership at the Duchess meant no more exotic dancing at the bar. She danced at Outbacks before it switched over in 2011 and has fond memories of the staff and accommodation provided at both bars - including the ability to bring her dog along.

"I was super sad," she said. "I'm totally going to miss that bar."

She said it was never quite a packed house at the Duchess, but it was comparable to other places she'd worked.

"It's really a dying industry," Powers said. "They're all closing."

She's noticed multiple strip clubs fall by the wayside in the area.

Slack Alice's in Penticton burned down in 2012 never to reopen and Rendezvous in Kamloops closed in 2009. Vernon's On The Roxx is the only club in that city.

She noted a healthy club life in Kelowna. While the Willow Inn closed in 2009, the Cadillac Lounge at the old North 40 Saloon started using adult entertainment in 2011.

"Kelowna has three strip clubs open right now, and Kamloops is (similar in) size," she said.

Hiring dancers is a pricey expense for any club.

"We're on a contract," Powers said. "Each dancer is $1,000 a week."

She said her agency provided about four dancers per visit.

"People don't want to spend the money," she said. "I think times have changed."

While high costs may be moving bars away from exotic dancing, Powers believes another factor plays into the death of the industry.

"I think the Internet kind of ruined it for a lot of people," she said. "They're like 'screw this, I'll get a six-pack and watch porn on the Internet.'"

Powers said a lot of dancers are moving east to Alberta where the money and opportunities are more prevalent.

However, she wouldn't give up her life in the Okanagan.

"You just end up travelling more which sucks."

To contact a reporter for this story, email: jwallace@infotelnews.ca or call (250) 319-7494.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013
InfoTel News Ltd

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