The Movable Buffet

Dispatches from Las Vegas
by Richard Abowitz

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XBIZ, the Hard Rock and Tera Patrick

July 11, 2008 | 11:00 am

Yesterday I was at the Hard Rock covering the XBIZ summer convention for Las Vegas Weekly. It was the third time this adult industry trade convention was held in Vegas. The organizers love the location, not just Vegas but the Hard Rock too. Of course, right now the Hard Rock is going through major renovations. So, despite constant construction sounds and the occasional warning alarm triggered by construction dust interfering with the convention panels, Steve Javors, the managing editor of XBIZ Premiere, explained why his convention feels a kinship with the off-Strip resort:

"We've had our summer forum at the Hard Rock since its inception and that's because it's just a really cool venue. The pool scene is second to none, and our sponsors really liked that exposure. More than 25 cabanas were sponsored by adult entertainment companies. Is there a place more conducive for networking and making business deals than the Hard Rock pool? It's a chic venue that exudes a cool, hip sophistication, which is the vibe we're looking to create. The Hard Rock has been a good partner with us and we hope to continue that relationship going forward."

And, you haven't experienced weird until you have checked out a porn star bikini talent contest. If one comes to your neighborhood, be sure to go. This one was held at the Hard Rock'sImg_7186 pool. One porn star read very serious poetry mostly written with enough iambs to scan, and a rhyme scheme better than most pop songs. Another twirled a hoop around her legs while slapping her butt. But she was trumped by the porn star who brought a bound girl on stage and whipped her.

My favorite talent though was the Swedish porn star who tried to karaoke to an Abba song and missed every note while switching randomly between lead and harmony parts.

Burning Angel owner and star Joanna Angel, left, sang the theme song for her next movie, which involved references to wanting rock music and extreme sex in a very specific combination. Let's leave that there.

Of course, the most popular talent was to wiggle and jiggle to music, which is what the winner did.

Anyway, this seemed a good opportunity to try to get to the bottom of why the Hard Rock canceled its gaming plans featuring adult star Tera Patrick, below left. As I reported on the Buffet, the Hard Rock had built out a gaming pit and was ready to launch it as the Tera Patrick Gaming Pit but backed out of the project at the last minute. I speculated at the time that the Hard Rock got cold feet at this unprecedented pairing of a porn star with a Nevada unrestricted gaming license, the single most valuable piece of paper in the state.

So, I spoke with a Hard Rock vice president about what happened to the Tera Patrick Gaming Pit. I found out that the concept was not just to brand the area with her image and name but also included her dancing in a choreographed routine. I was assured that gaming attorneys for the company approved the project based on two odd, and very Vegas, stipulations.

1. Tera Patrick could not remove any item of clothing on stage. If she made an entrance in a gown or gloves, those clothing items must remain on her person the entire dance.

2. Tera Patrick may be among the most famous porn stars in the country, but the Hard Rock was not about to help people without the Internet figure that out. The word "porn" or euphemism "adult" could not be used to market her name or the area on the casino floor in any way. "Tera Patrick" good but "Porn star Tera Patrick" bad. Vegas loves labels.

Otherwise, according to the Hard Rock VP, the gaming lawyers saw no problem linking Patrick to part of the gaming floor. So, assuming I was told the truth yesterday, and I think that I was told the truth, that means the Hard Rock did not get cold feet and pull out of doing a deal because of a fear of state regulators. Rather, the project was fine, with certain conditions, in terms of the Hard Rock's willingness to push envelopes.
Obviously, then that raises the question of why did the Tera Patrick Gaming Pit not happen? Sadly, I do not have the answer yet. The Hard Rock seems to sincerely plan to use her in a big way in the growth and promotion of the property. But much like with all of the renovations taking place, the Hard Rock is not ready to make any formal announcement about the specifics of its plans. You only get to make one first impression, and casinos like to control the timing of that as well as the presentation to the last detail.

Meanwhile, Tera Patrick is not waiting around for the Hard Rock. She takes her show on the road from the Hard Rock and holds her XBIZ convention after-party tonight at Prive at Planet Hollywood.

(Photos by Sarah Gerke)

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