Reversing the Numbness

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Hot Spots

I almost hate to write this post because I think it could support negative stereotypes of West Virginia, but we've got a bizarre thing going on that's just getting out of control. I know this is happening in other places too, but I'm not sure how widespread it is.

A few years ago legislation passed that legalized video gambling machines in small doses. Naturally bars started taking advantage of it, and it didn't take long for a whole new breed of place to open: the hot spot. These new gambling bars often go into some pretty weird locations, spots that would never host a bar otherwise. It's pretty insane how many of these places are popping up.

There's a three-mile stretch of road on the way to my house, partly commercial and partly low-income residential, and there are six of these places on that route. Check 'em out.

This place used to be a used-car lot:



Here's where someone put one in a gas station:


I really don't know what kind of building this one was. Maybe a house?



Old retail plazas are prime locations for hot spots, like this one:



This was a little NASCAR restaurant that converted. Cool paint job on the garage door:



So I was driving down this road the other day and I noticed a guy painting his place in WVU blue and gold. The Dalai Mama noticed the same thing and mentioned it later that night, because it was just strange. It wasn't until a couple of days later that we found out why he was painting it that way:



Yes, it's a trailer. And not a modular-in-a-commercial-lot sort of trailer, but a crappy-old-trailer-park sort of trailer.

I'm going to start calling them crack houses, I think. Seems applicable.

25 comments:

Mom! Toilets blogged! said...

Uhhh how long do you think it take me to get there?

Oh, I heard from Josh, he's plugging along, if he had seen the Hot Spots before he left he would be there right now!

I've been posting his adventures at www.trailrider.com

Mom

spooge said...

when i first moved back to WV, the billboards were EVERYWHERE. at least, they past legislation to make them take the signs down. totally obnoxious. WV really is OPEN FOR BUSINESS!

Fleming said...

you've got to stop into the trailer Hot Spot, and take pictures! I want to see what it's like inside. Is it real? Are there 3 games against the wall in the living room? do you use his bathroom? does he serve Busch Light in a can? are huggies included?

SleekPelt said...

mom: You can be here in no time, Mom. In no time flat.

spooge: Yeah, the signs made it all worse, for sure.

fleming: I wonder how they'd react to me shooting photos inside? So far this thread hasn't elicited much excitement from the hundreds, I mean, dozens of RtN readers, but I'm not opposed to doing an undercover post on the place if more people are interested. Do you have a wrist-watch camera, by chance?

Fleming said...

we already have the perfect Hot Spot investigator working with us. We'll have to forward this blog onto Fubar and let him roll out the best and worst Hot Spots in Mon County.

Zee said...

Man, these places totally remove the romance and mystique out of gambling. Give me a nice, big, loud, bright, multi-million dollar palace where they shut you out from the sun (and the outside world) pump oxygen into the room, and feed you bad coffee and watered-down beer for me to go blow my $300 over these so called "Hot Spots" any day.

SleekPelt said...

fleming: Sounds like the perfect assignment for Fu.

zee: The thing that bugs me the most about some of these hot spots is that they're designed to take money from poor people. Like WV isn't poor enough as it is....

Mungerphut said...

You should go to Weirton-- out of control. They need to regulate the number of Hot Spots allowed in certain areas, like PA does with saloons. Ohmigod, did I just say that PA government does something reasonable and good?!

SleekPelt said...

munger: I think I'll stay away from Weirton, thanks.

The Dalai Mama said...

You need to get Fubar in that damn trailer soon. I really, really need to know what it looks like in there, and I don't have the balls to check it out myself.

Raoul Duke said...

what concerns me is the pizza shops that have been converted. I can only stand so much!

Zee said...

Casinos leave a trail os slums, pawn shops, degenerates and broken dreams in their wake. At least theHot Spots are so small, that (hopefully) their impact will be minimized (thuogh they seem to make up for it in their numbers). Now, Large "Slot Parlors" are comming to Philly. As usual, many suffer so a few rich foilks can line their pockets even more.

Anonymous said...

In the southern part of the State, we have a new breed of apparently female entrepeneurs, with great locations like "Carla's" "Pam's" and "Mimi's." The only place where you can have a nice watered down Pepsi, inhale 2 packs of smokes in the air and lose $100 in 15 minutes. The liberal in me recognizes the social consequences, but the libertarian in me thinks I can choose to blow my hard earned money as I wish. Besides, the air conditioning makes it much more comfortable than the local cock fights.

Chud said...

and Zee - my last post referred to chickens.

Chud

SleekPelt said...

chud: We have those places here too: Laura's, for example. And I have the same internal struggle that you do about these places.

SleekPelt said...

rd: When people start messing with pizza shops, Raoul ... get ... very ... angry!

zee: Good point about the big casinos.

SleekPelt said...

Oh, and guys ... just to reiterate the initial point:

It's a freakin' trailer.

Mom! Toilets blogged! said...

I'm confused. I get negative vibes when you say "Trailer" I thought West Virginia was the spiritual home of mobile homes.
When you say WV to me I have a mental picture of a trailer up on a hill, one end on the dirt (next to the trampoline) and the other end up on about 50 concrete blocks. Teetering is the word I'm looking for.
Here in Idaho we live in homes built completely of potatoes.
If they are dumb enough to throw their money away on video poker in a trailer, then let them. We can not protect all from every.
Mom

SleekPelt said...

mom: "Honey, I'm cold, will you throw another potato log on the fire?"

Mungerphut said...

I understand they have really cheap beer in these places. Let's get $100 and bikes and spend a saturday cruising around as many hot spots as we can stomach-- just the beer and not the gambling.

Bad Billy said...

Sleek: There are one of these so-called "Hot Spots" by the Giant Eagle on Greenbag Road, and it says on the sign "Home of the Original Cuban Sandwich." Man, you couldn't pay me to go in one of these places and eat a Cuban sandwich. I wonder if the trailer serves food? We should check it out.

SleekPelt said...

munger: If you're buying, I'm in!

bad billy: Funny, I always thought that the Cuban sandwich originated in, oh, I dunno, maybe CUBA?!

Bad Billy said...

Sleek: Speaking of sandwiches (or bread and meat), I'm not a native of WV, and I was very surprised to recently find out that the Pepperoni Roll was invented in Fairmont! More useless advice: Did you know that the Big Mac was invented in Uniontown, PA?

getto said...

Just to dredge up an old post, but as I drove home last nite (Friday) I noticed that the neighborhood Hotspot was insanely packed. Usually there might be one car outside, but last nite there wasn't even a parking space. Must be because it was payday, or maybe because Christmas is coming and people were hoping to fatten their wallets.

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