Nevada Regulators Eye Rolling Lounges

Silver State regulators are taking a closer look at the rules governing out-of-state “rolling ultra-lounges,” which can be outfitted with stripper poles and other nightclub-style amenities. Some of the vehicles are unlicensed and could be unsafe.

Going after the “gypsies”

The Nevada Transportation Authority is planning to revise the regulations that define rolling ultra-lounges.

The three-member body, which usually concerns itself with the rules governing charter buses and limousines, will hold public hearings to discuss the regulations defining the mobile entertainment vehicles, which are sometimes tricked out with stripper poles, nightclub lights and fog machines.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the new rules are a way to crack down on “gypsy” limo and bus companies that come from out of state to serve special events and large conventions. The proposed regulation also would bar charter bus companies from entering the party-bus industry.

Regulators say many of the out-of-state limos and buses are unlicensed, uninsured and haven’t been inspected for safety measures by authorities. Under the proposal, vehicles would be classified as livery limousines if they are equipped with “a pole or other apparatus generally used for dancing; nightclub-style lighting such as rotating lights, strobe lights or lasers; or, fog or smoke machines.”

The trend began in Las Vegas in 2009 when “stripper-mobiles” started roving the Strip. The fact that dancers could be viewed by motorists raised concerns about distracted driving.

“The problem is that some of the companies that own these types of vehicles have been blurring the lines and attempting to avoid the more stringent application standard for charter limousines,” said Transportation Authority Chairman Andrew MacKay.

“It’s a lot easier to get a charter bus license than a charter limousine license,” said Brent Bell, president of the Livery Operators Association. “So you have several charter bus companies in Las Vegas that will take a bus, gut the inside of it, put in couches, put in stripper poles, put in lights and then hold themselves out as a party bus company. They’re advertising it as a limo without a limo license.”

“It’s a great way to get a Las Vegas celebration started, whether it’s a wedding, a bachelor party or just friends getting together here, from the time they get to the airport to the time they get to their hotel,” said chauffeur Dan Stafford.