Video: Scores trouble

msnbc.com
updated 10/30/2005 1:31:53 PM ET 2005-10-30T18:31:53

Twenty-two years ago, Rob McCormick was a St. Louis senior headed to college.  Today, he is the latest poster boy for CEOs gone wild.  New York tabloids are reporting  that McCormick, chairman of the Savvis Communications, was charged $241,000 by the Manhattan strip club Scores. 

And the tab went on the company credit card. 

Jim Wilson, owner of gentleman's club City Scape - New York, says many white-collar types have traded golf clubs for strip clubs when it comes time to do business. 

"I do know of people that I know personally that have spent $20,000, $30,000 in one night in the clubs in Manhattan," Wilson said.

Twenty grand is what Robert McCormick admits to dropping at this club, not $241,000.  Now, the courts will settle that dispute.  But a group of executives at a high-end club raking up a six-figure bill is quite possible, according to one former dancer. 

"It really is an environment created to cater to this sense of white-collar entitlement, and they deliver in spade," said Lily Burana, author of the book "Strip City."

Robert McCormick was not available for comment, but his company stands behind him and is contesting the charge. In a statement, it told NBC News: "Savvis is working with legal counsel to resolve the claim and protect the interests of Savvis, its shareholders, customers and partners.  The case does not impact our ability to deliver superior products and services."

Business deals and high heels is an open secret.

On Monday, MSNBC's Joe Scarborough welcomed Jon Hart, who writes for the men's magazine Maxim and Time Out New York, to "Scarborough Country" to discuss the trend.

To read an excerpt of their conversation, continue to the text below. To watch the video, click on the "Launch" button to the right. 

JOE SCARBOROUGH, SCARBOROUGH HOST: OK, I got to admit, Jon, I don't get it.  You got this businessman, he drops a quarter of a million dollars in one strip club in one night.  How do you do that? 

JON HART, MAXIM:  Well, it's more common than you think of.  From the minute you walk into Scores, you are in a fantasy land.  The lights are dimmed.  There are no clocks.  The women smell nice.  They wear these nice dresses.  You lose track of time. 

SCARBOROUGH:  We are talking about a quarter-of-a-million dollars.  How do you lose track of a quarter-of-a-million dollars? 

HART:  Hey, I wasn't there.  I am just saying, money goes quickly. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Wow.

HART:  But he did go into the elite president's room.  If I am going to blow a quarter-of-a-million, I would like to actually meet the president. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes.  Let's take a look at what $241,000 could get you during a night out at Scores, 30 bottles of champagne at $3,200 a bottle.  You got 350 martinis, each costing $22, 750 shots at $17.50 per shot, 65 private rooms at $1,000 a room, 850 bottles of water for only $9 per water.  Well, that's a deal — and 2,576 lap dances.
 
Talk about a busy night, Jon.  Let's expand this out and talk about what you said.  And I have heard this time and time again, that more and more businesses, more and more businessmen, more and more executives are going to these places to conduct business. 

HART:  Well, sure.  Mr. McCormick obviously wanted to feel like the star quarterback, the all-American, and he wanted the cheerleaders as well.  Perhaps he became very free-spending that evening to impress his business associates.  Was he going to, say, stop?  Maybe he was closing a deal.  Who knows.  Loosen everybody up.  Make everyone feel good.  Perhaps it's better than going to a ball game. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes. 

HART:  It's not how I do business.

SCARBOROUGH:  I was going to say, I think I will stick with a ball game. 

Catch 'Scarborough Country' each weeknight at 10 p.m. ET

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