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Mark Rome is the founder of The Palm. He currently lives in Ajijic where this past August he opened The Spotlight Club.
Before The Palm opened, we were planning to open a bingo hall. And on the week to open it up, they wouldn’t give us a license for gambling. They wanted an extra $50,000 dollars. We looked at each other and said, “What the fuck are we gonna do now?!”
We became a video bar! A bar to go to before you went to Paco Paco. We were quite successful and then a guy from Ottawa called Dixie Landers was here on vacation and said, “Can I do a drag show?” So we went to Sam’s Club and bought some big flashlights and those were our show lights.
He kept filling the bar, night after night, and then he went home. Then our bar was empty. People would come and say “No show tonight?” We were full before we had him, and after two weeks of a drag show, everybody wanted a show. So we were empty until we asked the local drag queens to come in. That was the only way we could get people back.
I opened a new club in Ajijic and not so much for the money but because I miss this business. It’s so much fun, those years of doing it here. Doing it again in Ajijic it’s an older audience. And I’m lucky that these guys in Puerto Vallarta are all so successful that I can draw from all their performers.
I’m excited about all of the acts coming this season. In all honesty. For me, it’s virgin territory for the acts that are coming there. It’s an easy job for me, promoting, because they’ve done all their promoting here. Everything is new to Ajijic and the town is so excited.