CHARELSTON, WV (WOWK) – “We should’ve opened at the same time bars opened… there’s a no touch policy anyway,” said Alicia Davis.
Strip clubs are the one industry in West Virginia that closed back in March, and still hasn’t opened back up.
“The only ones that are open… none of them are in West Virginia,” said Casinda Nelson, a previous dancer. “The closest is Lexington, I think?”
This put hundreds of dancers out of work across the state.
“Easily 200… maybe even 3 or 4,” said Nelson. “A lot of my friends are either not working right now, or [are working] some type of like maybe waitressing or restaurant work or something like that. So either they’re really down and out for money, or just barely scraping by with maybe a third of what they would’ve been making otherwise.”
“I started bartending part time right before this happened and it’s because I knew it was coming,” said Alicia Davis.
Davis is a perfect example of what’s happened to many of these women.
“Even though I’m bartending, I’m not making what I was. Not even a portion of it,” she said.
And this affects more than just dancers.
“It’s not just girls,” Davis continued. “There are managers, bartenders, and bouncers that have spent years there, and that’s their job. That’s what they’ve always done.”
“And even a lot of our healthcare workers,” said Nelson. “I mean I worked with women who were nurses. You know, they’d go work their day jobs and work with us at night and that would help ease some of their burdens.”
Businesses have all been affected by this pandemic.
But this one is now obsolete in the Mountain State.
“It’s people’s lives you know,” said Nelson. “That’s income.”
“A lot of people look down on it,” said Davis. “And that’s why they’re not really… we kind of live in a little bible belt. But we’re all mostly single moms. We need it.”