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Nightclub nightmare costs couple a bundle


Las Vegas Sun,  Sunday, March 9, 2008 at 2:37:40 PM

Come with John and Tina Henderson as they take you through the powerfully expensive night they spent last month at LAX nightclub in Luxor. Warning: It is not for the faint of wallet.

Henderson, 53, is a businessman who has lived in Las Vegas with his family since 1989. He and his wife took their daughter, Marissa, and her friends from Santa Clara University to LAX to celebrate her 21st birthday. He summed up the experience in an interview with the Sun on Thursday: "I was insulted. I felt financially raped."

The party of 10 did enjoy the dancing after getting into the club Feb. 16, the weekend before Internal Revenue Service agents paid visits to two nightclubs, including LAX, run by Pure Management Group. But the Hendersons were not happy about the surprises along the way.

They concede they had known little about the nightclub scene, but sought advice in advance from a daughter's friend who worked at LAX. The recommendation was to get reservations.

They said they did. When Tina Henderson made the call, she said she was told that for a party of 10, the couple would have to buy two bottles of liquor at $375 apiece for the two tables they would occupy, plus pay a 28 percent gratuity. Based on that, John Henderson said, he expected to spend about $1,000 on the evening.

The couple arrived at 10 p.m. They found their daughter and her friends waiting in line outside the club.

Knowing that the group had a reservation, an angry Henderson pushed his way through the line to confront a doorman standing behind a rope that blocked the entrance to the club.

"I said, 'What gives? We have a reservation for my daughter and her friends from school,' and he put his hand out and said, 'It starts here. That's how you get in.'

"I pulled my money clip out, and I said, 'What do I need to do?' And he said, 'A hundred dollars will get my attention.'"

Henderson said he handed over $100.


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