LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The entertainment industry was slammed by the COVID-19 pandemic and while business is resuming in many areas, Las Vegas adult entertainers say they have had to get creative to stay in business.
Sexxy Burlesque Show is one of the topless stage shows that had to make some serious adjustments when COVID-19 closed their curtain last year.
"We don't know why we can't perform the show as is and especially why we can't perform the show topless here," explained Jennifer Romas, the producer and choreographer for the show.
Romas says the show's venue at the Westgate would not allow for enough space between performers and audience members as well as enough social distancing and table size requirements to support costs.
"Most of the theaters in the casinos for live ticketed events had to have a 25 foot moat particularly at the Westgate at our show room, you take 25 feet and that brings you to the back wall," explained Romas.
The production and the performers found a new temporary home at Larry Flynt's Hustler Club near Russell and Interstate 15.
The show was adapted to the venue and a dinner component was added.
But there was one major change that Romas still has not figured out a solution.
Topless and nude performers are prohibited due to the tavern license the Hustler Club is currently operating under.
"Going strong, but trying to deal with all the differences and all the rules and regulations," said Romas.
"I'm not getting answers from anybody, anywhere as to why we cannot but we do what we do here versus somewhere else," added Romas.
Romas points out some topless shows on the strip are up and operating but are able to under different licenses and restrictions.
"Early on in the shut downs, there was a determination that the contact related to much of the adult entertainment in Nevada would have increased the possibility of the spread of the virus," explained Caleb Cage, director of the Nevada COVID-19 response.
State leaders say there is a difference between strip clubs and topless shows.
The factors include the social behaviors and the level of interaction between performers, entertainers and guests.
13 Investigates has learned adult entertainment regulations related to COVID-19 will transition along with other measures from the state to local control on May 1.
State leaders say, at that point, it will be up to Clark County to decided when or how local adult entertainment venues and other live entertainment will be continue to be regulated.
"Our community suffered big time, entertainment was hit one of the hardest and entertainment is what makes the city go around," explained Romas.
Romas says she has tried to plead her case with authorities for almost a year and is more hopeful her 14 cast members, and Las Vegas can get back to business soon.
Clark County leaders are expected to reveal their COVID-19 protocol plan at the Clark County Commission on April 20.