• Hurry! Our Loss Could Be Your Bigger Loss! (Zona 2 for sale)

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      And so it continues. Gringo with an idea opens a bar in Costa Rica with his life savings, and either goes broke in the process, or finds someone at the last minute to buy him out, thereby passing the punk to some other unsuspecting dumbass.

      Zona II is for sale. Of course it is... The last rancid limb of the Frankenstein Zona Blue experiment. The punk has been passed a dozen times, and Jimmy's hoping it can be passed one last time. And if he manages to sell it, so will the guy who buys it in about a year. Like musical chairs, only with pensions as chairs and bad ideas as the music.

      Something doesn't add up. And the real story will only unfold after the check has cleared. The entire building isn't worth $375k USD. But that hasn't stopped Jimmy from asking for it. Based on bogus cash flow and if you're lucky enough to see them, cooked books.

      But to understand the ridiculousness of what's going on, you should probably know how it came to this. So here's the history of Zona Blue, and how it became Zona II.

      Chapter One:

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      Back in the day (2006), there was a quaint little massage parlor named Zona Blue. A guy named Eddy from New York bought it with the plans of making a go of it.

      Eddy did quite well. Aside from the basics of doing a good job, economic winds were at his back. There was tons of money flying around the US at that time, and tons of guys were going on vacation to Costa Rica for all kinds of reasons. But mongering was right up there. With tons of tourists coming to town by the plane loads, and Eddy’s ability to fill the place with desirable talent, business was booming.

      Zona Blue was a simple brothel back then, there was a rolling cart that served as a ‘bar’ in the corner, and guys would buy drinks for themselves and the girls non-stop. Short time rooms served as quickie-closets, and he converted the upstairs bodega to 4 respectable suites. Business was good.

      He opened a cigar room near the entrance, complete with a walk-in humidor. In addition to what the brothel made, the bar and ‘hotel’ made, he now could sell cigars for a premium. Zona Blue became the talk of the town.

      Chapter Two:

      Somewhere in 2007, a guy from Chicago bought the building next door and built hotel rooms. Obviously, he and Eddy had some kind of arrangement prior, and when they knocked the wall down, they renamed the place Hotel Little Havana.

      Business was good. Tourism was fantastic, and the place had a great reputation. Having a roster with the famous Karen, Pam, Laura, and a few other stunning chicas available didn’t hurt.

      Chapter 3:

      In late 2008, there was some kind of rift between Eddy and Joe, and Eddy left. At around the same time, there was an internal issue between the house and the girls, and a lot of the girls left. Just like that…

      Towards the end of 2008, the recession landed and the panic was on. 2009 was not a good year for Hotel Little Havana. Business fell off and the chicas gained weight. This period ushered in the downshift of the Costa Rica monger scene, and the beginning of the shift towards Jaco.

      Joe skippered a couple of mediocre years. And the place started to fade from the radar. He had a couple of retarded managers for both the hotel and the cigar bar, which sped up the demise of business.

      Chapter 4:

      In early 2012, Boyd, who was a marketer around town. Running poker games and did a short stint at the Dunn Inn before getting let go. Boyd was an excellent marketer, and came to terms with Joe for a job there as a marketing manager. It wasn’t like Joe was packing them in. Almost immediately, Boyd started packing the place, with room specials and happy hour promotions. Boyd was on the job, and the place was better for it.

      Chapter 4.1

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      After a few months of working at HLH, Boyd was back at the top of his game. The place was lively, and the party was on. I managed to refer a couple of cute chicas to him that I’d found at some of the lower end places around town, and they managed to do well for themselves and Boyd.
      Boyd managed to put a group of investors together to Buy Joe out. Joe was never in his element there, and this group was eager to jump onto Boyd’s momentum to fortune and fame. Things were looking great for everyone involved.

      This is where I’d like to tell you they all lived happily ever after. But if you know anything about anything about this, you know it didn’t play out that way.

      Boyd was a good host, but the long hours, the drinking, and the madness of having his Nicaraguan wife around all those hookers made for a bad stew.

      Boyd was drinking every day, and it wasn’t so much the drinking that caused the lion’s share of the problems. It was the showing up at 9:00 am to work with a splitting headache and burning stomach that did him in.

      Sidenote: Boyd was a poker player, and not a very good one. After drinking all day at work with the guests, he would borrow from the petty cash box and head over to the now closed Horseshoe Casino to play some poker. It might have helped if he wasn’t always drunk when he played. But I think you guys can put together what happened with the money.

      Anyway, Boyd walked in one morning, and one of the girls that worked there started in about something stupid and the combination of whiskey sickness, ongoing stress, and not wanting to listen to her bullshit any more came to a head. In a heated argument, he shoved her down the stairs. This was only 4-5 stairs, and she wasn’t injured, but it was still one of those moments that couldn’t be taken back. The partners called for a shareholder’s meeting the following Wednesday.

      It didn’t take a genius to know how that meeting was going to play out. So Boyd cleaned out the safe Tuesday night and nobody’s seen him since. This all took place in the summer of 2012.

      Sidenote 2: Jimmy, A local bookmaker and friend of Boyd’s had asked Boyd to park his car at his place while he was in the states sorting a few things out for a couple months. During the period Boyd was waiting out that meeting, he sold Jimmy’s car to add to his outgoing severance package.

      Chapter 5:

      HLH was in limbo for a few months. Nobody really knew what to make of it all. A couple of the partners came in to man the ship, but none of them really had any marketing or hospitality skills, so it stayed in limbo. It was open, just nobody knew what to make of its future. Enter Jeff.

      Jeff was a jolly guy and regular visitor to the gulch. He had put in his time at the local fire department in the Florida Keys and sustained an injury that led to his retirement. He had a comfortable pension and seemed on his way to live out his days drinking and whoring in the gulch. Where his 400 pound figure wasn’t an issue with the ladies. Until he got an idea…

      Jeff, who had a drinking problem and zero experience with anything bar related that didn’t involve running up several hundred dollar tabs and taking his clothes off, decided he’d buy out Boyd’s interest from the partners and Jimmy, who had assumed Boyd’s shares in lieu of the money Boyd owed him, and become managing partner of HLH.

      Jeff was a nice guy. A very nice guy. He was generally well liked around the gulch, and had the endorsement of Saint Bill, the patron saint of Barrio Amon, and owner of the Sportsman’s Lodge. Everyone was sure this newly recharged group would charge to victory and that would be the last of the drama that’s plagued this once thriving enterprise.

      Jeff wanted to hit the ground running and make a splash, so he bought some big screen tv’s, a very expensive sound system only he knew how to use, and knocked out a few walls and made a kitchen at the end of the bar. He put in thousands of dollars of surveillance equipment, and spend another $10,000 on some other things, just ‘cause. By the time he got settled in, the place needed to make $28,000 a month to pay all the bills. That’s not a terrible nut to make, considering you have 14 rooms and a bar.

      The simple problem Jeff would never be able to overcome, no matter how well he did everything else, is he hadn’t remembered what his actual business was. Whores.

      He had put so much focus and money into the peripheral items, that he’d ignored the core business, and the reason everyone walked in. The girls were showing up when they felt like it, playing on their phones all day and ignoring potential clients, and when they did talk to the clients, they would refuse to fuck the guy on premises and make arrangements with him for later at his hotel off the property.

      There’s really nothing worse than a whorehouse people can’t get laid in…

      Add to all this, Jeff’s bar tab was sometimes bigger than the day’s receipts on any given day, and he still thought getting knee-walking drunk and taking his clothes off was a sound business decision. Remember, Jeff weighs in at over 400 pounds.

      In the end, it was simple arithmetic that did Jeff in. 2013 was a horrible year for the Costa Rica tourism industry, and even worse for the monger friendly hotels. He would have flopped in the most robust tourism climate, but the shitty downturn of 2013 added nitroglycerine to the engines of failure.

      Facing deficits, and with a group of partners that were tired of getting cash calls when they would have rather been getting dividends, they refused further investment with the exception of the mortgage they had on the building they bought from Joe, next to the original Zona Blue location.

      Jeff’s plan was to play hardball with the owner of the corner location by skipping a few payments (it wasn’t like he could pay anyway). Then renegotiate the lease downward. That didn’t work so well. Which brings us to chapter six…

      Chapter 6:

      I remember sitting in the smoke room at what was left of the corner building of HLH. The owner had the power cut, and Bruce was using lamps and hanging lights run from an extension cord next door while we were having a cigar and shaking our heads at the madness. Jeff had come in to explain this idea about an indoor pool in that location, and Jimmy happened to come by for a smoke.

      Jeff was explaining his strategy for hardballing the owner of the building into reducing the rent to Bruce, Jimmy, and myself. At some point during the next few days, it started to become obvious what had come from that conversation. Jimmy had gone to the owner and negotiated a new lease for just the corner location, where he would open up under a new name and under his own management.

      Chapter 6a: Scores

      In all the madness after finding out he lost the corner building, Jeff found a married couple to buy the mortgage next door and keep him on as manager. All the former partners had agreed to sell their interest at a fraction of what they had invested. The new owners, Jason and Kim, came from a gaming background, owning part of an online sportsbook. It seemed odd to me that a couple would go into the brothel business, but hey… who am I to judge.

      I’m under the impression Jeff was able to slow his drinking, and particularly his clothing optional philosophy for a while during the period Jason and Kim were present. Something I wished he would have taken into consideration the entire time.

      To no avail. As Jason and Kim grew weary of Jeff and the bleeding business, Jeff managed to find another investor to come in and take the financial burden.

      Chapter 6b: Zona II

      Zona II was a good idea. Nobody could really blame Jimmy for seizing the moment. Jeff was going to sink any ship he was on, it only made since to make a play that didn’t involve him. And in this way, he was able to get the corner location and all the grandfathered licenses and permits, without the dead weight of both Jeff, and the bulky money-losing property next door.

      While this corner location and a simple mind for the numbers (Jimmy’s a bookie, after all) are assets, this location has such as black cloud over it, it’s hard not to be skeptical.

      Chapter 7a: Scores Closes

      Apparently, Jason and Kim, who own the property Scores is on, had enough of the foolishness and locked the doors on Scores and its new ‘partners’. The last report was it was closed, and owed back taxes and payroll.

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      Chapter 7b: Zona II

      Does Zona II have a shot? History would suggest not a very good one. The bar business is tough enough even in a dreamlike scenario. It’s in the worst part of the gulch, in the hole. Lodged between other failed venues and tranny avenue.

      Knocking up the whores is generally not the best strategy for running a brothel. Another dynamic that will factor in will be Jimmy’s recruiting/impregnating ratio. For a sustainable model, you’d need to recruit twenty pretty girls that stayed at least 90 days each while only impregnating one of them per year.

      So... For the low-low price of $375,000., you can buy into the dream. Jimmy's dream... of opening a bar and selling it to an idiot who doesn't know any better.

      Any offers???
      This article was originally published in forum thread: Hurry! Our Loss Could Be Your Bigger Loss! (Zona 2 for sale) started by Jonesie View original post