Calhoun: Wake-Up Call

Steve Horner takes his anti-ladies' night crusade to Las Vegas

Steve Horner has plenty of opinions about bars -- both the kind that serve up drinks, and the kind that allegedly help serve up justice. During his several-year tenure in Colorado, he kept lawyers -- and newspaper editors -- busy with the complaints he filed about ladies' night promos, as originally outlined in "Ladies Plight." And now he's up to his old tricks in Sin City.

We first learned of Steve Horner back in 2006, when he filed a complaint against Proof of the Pudding because it didn't allow him free admission on ladies night. It was just the latest salvo in a crusade that dated back more than a decade, and continues today.

After leaving Colorado, Horner moved back to Minnesota, where he'd started his campaign against ladies' nights, and then to St. George, Utah -- a legal motion away from Las Vegas, where Horner soon made female-friendly bar deals the focus of complaints filed with the Nevada Equal Rights Commission. His first legal foray, a complaint filed against the Blue Martini bar, was rejected because he'd never gone there -- a snafu that got many of his complaints thrown out in Colorado.

So then Horner jumped into much deeper water: the giant pool parties that many casinos host where admission for females is free or a bargain, but men have to pay... and sometimes pay big. He showed up in person, armed with a camera and tape recorder, demanded the same deal that females were being allowed -- and then filed complaints against those casinos that did not give it to him. According to the Las Vegas Sun, Horner recently filed six complaints -- against Hard Rock, Tropicana, MGM Grand, M Resort, Rio and Mirage -- each seeking a minimum of $2,000 in damages plus attorney fees. "Horner said casino employees laughed," the paper reports, "when he asked whether he could get into the events free or at the reduced 'women's rate,' They seemed unconcerned, he said, when told they were being taped."

That could be because the casinos will soon have clear law on their side: The Nevada legislature has passed a measure that will make female-friendly business deals legal. It takes effect on October 1.

Until then: Everybody into the pool!

Look below to see another example of Steve Horner being laughed at -- in a 2007 segment from The Daily Show.

More from our Calhoun: Wake-Up Call archive: "Top 5 most photogenic Colorado locations for the Dougherty gang to have been nabbed."

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun