Back in ‘the day,’ when the housing bubble was at its peak and a home equity loan was as easy to get as a Calle 6 massage, there were two gringos for every seat on the Del Rey Hotel’s ground floor, and two working chicas for every gringo. That’s how it was when I first arrived in 2004, even though the ‘veterans’ were saying things were better X years ago. Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be, but it was still a pretty wild time in San Jose, and ground zero was the Del Rey Hotel.
Fast forward to 2017, and the gringos and the chicas are both endangered species in the pink hotel by the park. And along with the ‘on the scene’ reports I get, I also hear rumors. I have heard that the chicas are saying that the hotel is going to require that they buy drinks if they want to hang out. ‘Back in the day,’ it was so busy and the service so poor that I often spent hours at a table and went totally unnoticed by the waitresses and bartenders. One supposed reason behind the change in attitude towards the working girls is that they are bothering the gringo customers. This is quite possible, though their mere presence was the reason most of the gringos were there… ‘back in the day,’ that is. But rumor has it that the hotel is going to adopt a ‘family oriented’ business model and the ladies of the noche don’t fit the plan.
So for starters, we have the rumor that the hotel is going ‘family oriented’ and the rumor that working chicas won’t be welcome. Then there is a rumor as to the reason WHY the change is coming. This rumor has it that the top management of the hotel had a religious conversion or similar, and no longer wants to be a party to the sinful shenanigans that have gone on under its fabled roof.
If it is indeed true that management has gotten religion and their new-found faith tells them that it’s wrong to be a part of a hotel, bar and casino that allows sex workers to offer their services downstairs and provide the services upstairs, the timing has been fortunate. Had they gotten religion in 2004, there is a boatload of money they never would have made. Perhaps they believe the delay in enlightenment was all part of a divine plan, and for that matter, who is to say it isn’t?