Moral Low Ground


Strippers Earning $2,000 Per Night in Oil Boomtown of Williston, North Dakota

October 26, 2011 by Brett Wilkins in Economy, Energy, Sex with 0 Comments

Unintended consequences abound in life. Sometimes they’re fortuitous, sometimes not. In Williston, North Dakota, an oil boom has been a boon to one local industry: strippers are earning ten times as much as they used to, as much as $2,000- $3,000 a night.

CNNMoney says “forget Vegas!” The thousands of men who are flocking to Williston for high-paying jobs sometimes work for days on end in an alcohol-free, desolate and lonely environment. “They’re just here for a little company,” Kit, a 36-year-old stripper, told CNNMoney. “They work like four days on, four days off, 24 hours, with no break, no alcohol. So when they have days off they’re gonna drink, and when they drink they want to play.”

Kit told CNNMoney that she makes as much as $3,000 a night, about as much as she’d earn in an entire week in Las Vegas. “We make more than doctors,” she said. Even on slow nights, which (unlike Vegas) there really aren’t any of, she still pulls in around $1,500.

But competition is fierce. There are only two strip joints in town, Whispers and Heartbreakers, and exotic dancers are applying from literally all over the world– Whispers owner Melissa Slapnicka told CNNMoney that she’s had women from as far away as the Czech Republic and Germany seeking employment in her establishment.

“We used to have to beg people to come, and now we have to turn them away because we don’t have room for all the people who want to dance,” she said. “My best girls would rather dance here than in Vegas, because they make more money here.”

It’s not just the dancers who are raking in the big bucks. Slapnicka. who also tends bar at Whispers, told CNNMoney she used to earn around $50 a night in tips. Now she makes $200. “They just throw their money at you,” she said.

So popular are the local strip clubs that freshly-arrived men can even find oil jobs there. “Guys who get off the train will come here and say they don’t have a job,” Slapnicka told CNNMoney. “And I say ‘sit here for three hours’– and they have a job when they leave.”

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