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The strip club rationale

The city of Eugene, with a population of around 150,000, has within its limits two strip clubs. Take the bridge across the Willamette River and you’re in the city of Springfield, around 55,000, which has five and – if a new proposal is approved later this year – soon may have six. Why the disparity?

That’s the subject of a fascinating story today in the Eugene Register-Guard, about the differences between the cities that have led to this specific commercial difference. Among the distinctions are the liveliness of the relative downtown areas (Eugene’s looks a good deal more prosperous), differences in smoking rules (Eugene has banned smoking in bars since 2001) and the liquor law history of the two places: Eugene spent more of its history as a “dry” city, and Springfield as a “wet.”

You can find other intriguing municipal comparisons that run somewhat this way (over in Idaho, Boise/Garden City and Pocatello/Chubbuck come to mind). The story is a recommended read for implications well beyond Lane County.

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