Giddyup! It’s the Best Little EXPO in Texas

Publisher’s Note by Dave Manack

(NOTE: This story appears in the March 2024 issue of ED Magazine.)

O

ver the past 30 years, we’ve dedicated pages of our magazine and time at the EXPO to discuss the genesis of the modern adult nightclub. Meaning, when the industry transitioned from the go-go joints and rough-and-tumble biker-run clubs of the late ‘60s and ‘70s to the more professionally-run “gentlemen’s clubs” of the late ‘80s, ‘90s and 2000s. Many will certainly argue that Florida — specifically the clubs owned and operated by Michael J. Peter and his proteges — were the nation’s first true upscale adult clubs. 

Well, not so fast. 

There’s one other market that can make a stake to that claim: Dallas/Fort Worth. 

In fact, many adult club industry veterans will suggest that the clubs in Texas — specifically, in the Dallas/Fort Worth “Metroplex” — offered the first modern “mega-club” with venues like the Million Dollar Saloon and Cabaret Royale. You’ll read about some of these clubs in this issue’s Founders Interview with Duncan and Scott Burch, two of the most successful club owner/operators in the history of this industry. As you’ll also read in this issue, ED Founder Don Waitt was inspired to create the very first EXOTIC DANCER Directory (which was the precursor to this magazine and to the Annual ED EXPO) while he lived and worked in Dallas/Fort Worth and was merely a club customer who enjoyed the variety of clubs available, from honkey-tonk blue-collar clubs to white-collar mega-clubs, and everything in between. 

In short, there are few cities in the US as fitting a host to our annual convention as Dallas is, and we couldn’t be more excited to bring the entire industry together this coming August 25-28 at the beautiful Hyatt Regency Downtown Dallas. This issue features a “first look” at EXPO 2024 with our 12-page brochure showcasing four days of seminars, parties, special events and the 2024 ED’s Awards Show.

From my perspective, there’s a lot to be excited about. Let’s start with our Keynote Speakers — yes, plural. For the first time in many years, we’re offering two Keynote Addresses from two very different perspectives. Monday’s Keynote Speaker is hospitality expert Michael Tipps, an innovative bar and customer service expert who has some brilliant ideas for transforming the typical “strip club” into something … well, more. He’s going to bring a fresh perspective to what a “strip club” is, or more accurately, what an adult club can be when it stops thinking of itself as only a strip club.

Our second Keynote Speaker, Joe Bob Briggs, is a Texas treasure, a man whose career writing about Dallas clubs stretches back to the 1970s when he first met “Morganna the Kissing Bandit” who had been arrested for “assaulting a man with her boobs.” Some of our readers may also know Briggs from his decades-long career as a TV host for such channels as TNT (“Monstervision”), The Movie Channel (“Joe Bob’s Drive-In Theater”) and now AMC+/Shudder, where hundreds of thousands currently watch his streaming show “The Last Drive-In.” He’s also the co-author of the book “Evidence of Love: The Candy Montgomery Story,” which has been adapted several times for TV (including the relatively new HBO/Max show “Love & Death.”) Briggs has always celebrated the adult club industry, and will bring his infectious charm and energy to his Keynote Address.

And what would an EXPO in Dallas be without a party at a true Texas honkey-tonk? Well, that’s exactly what we have with the “First Night Fandango” at the Cowboys Red River Dancehall on Monday, August 26, as we kick the EXPO off in true roadhouse style. We’ll even have some line dancing and a mechanical bull riding contest with cash prizes!

There’s lots more to be excited about with our first foray into Dallas, and you can see all of the preliminary details in our EXPO brochure. Stay tuned for much more, as we’re now less than six months away from our annual gathering, and we can’t wait to see y’all there! 

– Dave Manack, Publisher

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