When Desert Adult Books opened up in North Las Vegas in 1983, the neighbors were quiet as cactus. Back then, the expressway (I-15) didn’t exist and there was nothing but miles and miles of desert on either side of Las Vegas Blvd.
It’s The Strip, all right, but the bright lights of the MGM and Venetian are still miles away. But with Vegas’ population increasing at the rate of 7,000 people every month, Desert Adult Books is now surrounded. Now it practically sits in the center of town, even if it’s still out of the way for the typical Vegas visitor.
“What we really cater to is the blue collar Las Vegas person,” store manager Doug Palacek said, “not so much the tourist.”
DAB may not get the tourist traffic, but it has expanded right along with Sin City. In 1983, the store was 1,200-square-feet. In 2000, they expanded to 3,600 and two years later the store occupies a respectable 7,200-square-foot space. Last year they bought the building.
Palacek said the store has a very large video and DVD selection, is very strong in the magazines department and a “very, very encompassing toy department.”
DAV also has 28 state-of-the-art, stainless steel viewing booths with DVD hookups to 128 channels. These booths have a twist — and a patent owned by Desert Adult Books’ parent company — “They have a window in between the booths,” Palacek explained. “So if you have a person in the left booth, and a person in the right booth, and they both consent, and they’re putting their money in, they can lift the shade so they can look at each other.”
They also have another booth rarity — full doors.
“In Las Vegas, there’s a rule against full doors,” Palacek said. “But in 1991, they tried to close us down, and we ended up getting a permanent injunction against the county, that we didn’t have to follow the rules of their new zoning, so my booths have full doors.”
While viewing booths might bring back visions of dark porno shops filled with sketchy men in raincoats, Desert Adult is fully modern and lit brightly, and cruisers are kicked out before they can get started.
Even the products they carry are selected carefully. Don’t bother looking for piss and/or fisting DVDs, because they aren’t on the shelves. Palacek said it’s just not worth the risk.
“There’s really no point. For whatever sales you’re gonna get, whatever clientele you’re gonna get, there’s just that potential possibility of trouble.One case will cost me 50 thousand to 80 thousand bucks. And besides that, it also brings a different crowd, believe it or not, and really we have a heavy amount of just regular customers that we know. They’re comfortable. And those are fine. If you’ve got a couple in or a woman alone or two women, they don’t get goaded there. We have it set up so if they’re shopping in the toy department, they really can’t be seen from the rest of the store.”
Palacek said companies have helped him update his store, too.
“We’ve got tons of neon in there,” he said. “We’ve had all the companies to make us neon signs of their company names. And it’s a very relaxed atmosphere. It’s a very clean, well kept, we keep it very well stocked.
“We’re trying to look like a boutique department store. Everything’s … we have all modern grid for merchandising. Everything’s very well lit. We have overhead stands and track lighting. We have male and female clerks, couples are most welcome, we do rentals, we have multi-day packages, new releases weekly. We stock over 25,000 titles. And we’re very fairly priced, very competitively priced.”
Desert Adult Books, 4350 North Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89115.