The State of Wyoming has a lot of firsts.
Everything from granting women the right to vote to electing the first female governor to having the first national park, national monument, and national forest.
There are some more arcane firsts, such as being the first state to have a school football game played at night under artificial lighting (in Midwest in 1925).
Now there’s another first for Wyoming’s history books: one of the first places in the country to reopen a strip club during the coronavirus pandemic.
“The Den” — a strip club south of Cheyenne — reopened its doors on Friday night and it was so newsworthy that USA Today sent a reporter to cover the historic moment.
What was it like?
Like anywhere, some people wore masks, some did not.
The employees all had face coverings while the customers — perhaps thinking they were immune from the virus — did not deem them necessary.
All of the dancers interviewed said they were happy to be working again.
Adult performers were not eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program but could qualify for the $1,200 stimulus check. Outside of that, most said they didn’t receive any government assistance.
“The stimulus money was nice but that’s going to run out and I don’t like to feel like I’m dependent on the government,” said one dancer.
While many Americans shifted to working from home, it’s difficult for those in the adult entertainment industry. Lots of competition, they say.
“You’re competing with millions of other girls,” she said. “And it’s harder to do — you have to talk, text and be a pretzel.”
But now with the “clothes-off, masks-on” opening night behind them, the dancers don’t have to worry about texting and talking. They can just be pretzels.
As for fears of the virus affecting business, the owners said it was almost as busy as any “normal” Friday night.
That could serve as a good omen for the rest of Wyoming’s economy.