Dance club needs more patrons |

Dance club needs more patrons

Turnout is tapering off, but coordinators of Koliseum, South Shore’s new teen nightclub, are hoping last weekend’s poor attendance doesn’t indicate lack of interest.

Three weeks into it, Michael Couri plans to postpone the weekend nightclubs until after the first of the year.

“We can’t get the days we want at the Elks Club because they’re booked up until January, so we’ll wait until then before we do it again,” Couri said.

The first dance brought about 40 teens, followed by a slightly smaller crowd the second week. But last weekend’s crowd, six in all, made renting the Elks Lake Tahoe Lodge an expensive endeavor.

“It was very poorly attended,” said Elks Club Secretary Ken Lasky. “There was a big basketball tournament at the high school, and some of the kids were saying those games don’t get over until 11 p.m.”

South Tahoe High’s win over Victor Valley in Saturday’s championship game of the 26th Viking Rotary Classic filled the stands, leaving little hope for a teen event that wasn’t related to local high school hoops.

But if the numbers at Koliseum don’t increase in January, teens in South Lake Tahoe may lose their newest opportunity for weekend entertainment.

“We hope it gets bigger. I originally wanted to buy a building and do a nightclub, but that’s not going to happen if the numbers don’t come up,” Couri said.

The Elks Club charges $450 a night for the hall. In addition, a business license and insurance were required before Couri could open the doors.

“It has cost us a few bucks,” Couri said.

A dental hygienist by trade, Couri began working as a DJ in 1994. He came to South Lake Tahoe in 1998 and continued in the DJ business, primarily working weddings.

“I decided I had too much equipment to just do weddings,” he said. “I wanted to expand.”

Couri’s Koliseum answers the call for more activities for underage party-goers on South Shore, but a lack of interest may keep Koliseum from taking off.

“I’d go if there were a lot more people,” said South Tahoe High School 11th-grader Caleb Bonham.

Greg Lewis, also a junior at the high school, said he has driven by Koliseum to see what the crowd was like, then changed his mind about going in.

“There weren’t that many people,” Lewis said.

What are the 16-through-20-year-olds doing instead?

“We go to parties,” Bonham said.

They also attend school dances. Some, though very few, go to the Recreation Complex on Friday nights for teen dances. The community dances are open to all students in grades six through 12, and while the turnout has been promising – 150 youths attended last Friday’s dance – enticing the older teens to participate has been tough.

“Once they can drive they don’t seem to want to come to the Rec Center,” said administrative clerk Cindy Beberg.

Koliseum is a supervised nightclub with a strict dress code. Admission is $7 per person and includes a soft drink, house music, dancing and a ticket for giveaway drawings.

Lasky said the Elks Club will continue to make the hall available for Koliseum, “as long as the interest is there and they continue doing it.”

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