I have been meaning to write this blog for a while. It’s probably the question I get asked the most. Which is why we don’t move Syn to a bigger\nicer location. The answer is multifaceted and overlaps. I’ll try to answer that concisely. This will be long though because I can never answer anything briefly.
FINANCIAL: So, for those that don’t know Syn is my only source of income. That seems to be controversial, and I don’t understand why. I have invested 10’s of thousands of dollars in Syn over the years, Syn employs 3 part time employees and will soon pay for healthcare for two of them. Nowadays I do less work and have the staff do most of the heavy lifting, but over the course of the past 9 years I have devoted a lot of hours to Syn. Why anyone feels I shouldn’t be able to make a profit from that is confusing to me. Personally, I think me running Syn as I would any other nightclub, I ran is what makes us successful when other places struggle. People will use it to take shots at me, but in my experience anyone that says it isn’t about the money is most concerned about the money. Ironically, I am able to not focus on the money because I can trust we will continue to be successful and can focus on just making Syn the best I can.
Syn is absolutely located in a less than ideal location. I grew up in that area and I am well aware of it. Rental space in nicer areas is so much more expensive. When you add multiple bathrooms, bigger space ect in Tulsa it can really be difficult to make it worth your while. If you can even find a space AND they let you actually have a lifestyle club there. Which brings me to:
SECURITY: I’m not talking about actually being safe. I’m speaking on even being allowed to have a lifestyle club.
I think I touched on this a bit in my Story of Syn blogs, however I’ll expand on it here. The biggest threat to LS clubs are not christians, news stations or police. It is people inside the LS. I have run Syn for almost 9 years and ran another club for almost that long before. The only people that have ever tried to shut me down and cause me issues are people that are in the lifestyle. My old club we would rent out banquet rooms at hotels. I would rent a uhaul and have a storage unit. Every Saturday we get to our venue at noon and start setting up. Hauling in beds, couches, DJ equipment and decorations. We had to pay for the venue upfront which was usually 1K-1500 for the night. Many times I would find out on a Thursday or Friday night I didn’t have a venue for that Saturday’s party. Because competing clubs or people that just flat out didn’t care for me were harassing the venues trying to get us shut down. Even if the managers are good with it, many have corporate overlords and they would go over their heads.
Not too long after Syn open we had 3 other LS clubs in the area. Least two of them got into it and got each other shut down. As I said, there are not too many places where you can host a LS event. Some of these small hotels would be open to it, however many of these hotels have various fire code violations. That’s not a problem at Aunt June’s wedding but once the fire marshals start getting their phones blown up it becomes an issue. Many of the hotels that would be open to hosting got badly burned with fines and non-payment from the organizers.
I sold my last club and moved to Vegas for a couple of years. When I moved back I was not receptive at all to opening another LS club because I didn’t want to deal with that BS again. One of the main reasons I agreed to open Syn was because I was less susceptible to these issues. There is no one you can go over my head with, I control all the safety measures and the landlord spent most nights at the strip club. (RIP Dan)
Now they have tried. I have had Able, Police and Fire Marshals called on me many times. We just do everything we are supposed to do so it’s harder to cause issues with us. I have never understood this idea that authority figures are your enemies. My main job as an owner is to make sure everyone is safe. Entities like Fire marshal, Police and health inspectors are my partners in this, not my opponents. The police have told me several times they like us being there. We class up and calm down the area. In that neighborhood the swingers are the upstanding citizens.
AMENITIES: I have a love\hate relationship with the bar next door. I obviously love the amenities it offers but do not care for the clientele or many of the things that happen there. I have known Connie the owner for over 20 years. She is a good person and a very caring individual. However we have strong differences of opinion and would butt heads often. After COVID our relationship has become even more strained.
There are some misconceptions about the bar and its relationship with Syn. I have pretty much zero say in what happens over there. I have control of the door on takeover nights but that’s about it. The arrangement is the bar gets the drink sells and I get the door charge. I do not get a cut of the drinks sold. The space to socialize in, the bathrooms and the pool tables are valuable even on non bar takeover nights. If I were to rent a space that had that it would be very expensive.
Ironically when I first stopped doing bar takeovers every Saturday I was afraid that everyone would just hang out in the bar and not come over to the Syn side. That is the opposite of what happened. I do encourage you to utilize that space more. Play the jukebox, shoot some pool and buy a drink. I know the vibe isn’t the same, but the more we support them the more they will support us. Speaking of:
VIBE: So this one will be a bit more abstract, but I always prefer smaller places. When people have a lot of space they tend to spread out and clique up. You can see this even at Syn on some bar takeover nights. In the bar many people are sitting around, no matter what I play music wise they aren’t dancing until others start dancing. You go on the patio and the vibe is completely different because everyone is basically on top of each other. The bar is great when we put 200+ people in it but that’s hard to do every Saturday night. Nowadays I try to plan events that will fill up the bar but not overwhelm the Syn side.
Obviously, there is such a thing as too crowded. I’m always trying to balance how many people to let in especially on the bigger theme nights. I made it clear to the landlord that if something ever happens to the bar or the dispensary, I wanted first dibs on the space.
MENTAL HEALTH: Finally I wanted to speak on my personal mental health. Anyone that works for the public can tell you how draining it is. Dealing with people is not my strong point. I much rather be the wizard behind the curtain than the face up front. It’s why I hire pretty girls to handle most of the customer service. A bigger venue means I have to advertise more, deal with more people and do more work. Right now I can basically run off anyone I don’t care for, not advertise and the place will still be full every night. I can sit in my chair, direct traffic and watch people have sex. I make enough money, people are having a great time and I’m happy. I’m in no hurry to change it.
Thank you for reading.