Monday, January 17, 2005

The Last Days of Disco

by Tom Bozzo

Jimmy Steinways of the world no longer need worry about being kicked out of the cool clubs for being an uncool corporate type. They can now purchase V.I.P. treatment at select Manhattan night spots for $350 to $1200 per person per night, plus tips for the "celebrity lifestyle tour guides."

"Oy," says me.

Not surprisingly, there is negative reaction from some quarters:
"It sounds absolutely awful," said Jonathan Cheban, a nightlife publicist. "V.I.P. rooms are for real V.I.P.'s; you're not supposed to buy your way in. Who knows who these PartyBuddys people are? Maybe they're celebrity stalkers."
Even less surprisingly, the clubs themselves love it:
"The new V.I.P. isn't a downtown trendy, a Suzanne Bartsch or a Chi Chi Valenti*," he [NYC club designer Steve Lewis] said. "The new V.I.P. is a businessman with a credit card in his pocket who is willing to spend money." [Emphasis added.]
Real V.I.P.'s — or more properly S.F.P.'s** — are renowned for expecting to have the world comped for them. This is not completely without consequence for the break-even constraints of clubs that are expected to operate like businesses. Thus, the brokers, consultants, and salespeople in town from fly-over country (e.g., here) turn out to have green money after all.

Still, this is Exhibit Q for why the top federal income tax rates promptly should be returned to Clinton-era levels.

* I have no idea who those people are.

** Somewhat Famous Persons

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