THE closure of Club Tropicana brings to an end 30 years’ experience of working in Inverness nightclubs for Roy Dunnett.
However, Mr Dunnett believes the closure is not just sad news for himself and the 30 colleagues who have been made redundant, but for Inverness as a whole.
“Inverness used to have three big nightclubs, but now we have city status and a growing student population with the UHI and Inverness doesn’t have any,” Mr Dunnett said. “There are plenty of drinking places in Inverness, but we lack a physical nightclub. A lot of stag and hen parties come up to Inverness now and they want to go to a club to finish their night, which they would do back home. They don’t want to be in a bar that serves food.”
Mr Dunnett also worked at G’s nightclub on Castle Street, which Club Tropicana owner TGC Leisure closed in May 2017. However, he does not blame the owner for taking the decision to close the clubs but the council for licensing policy changes which allow pubs to remain open until 3am.
“That put us at a disadvantage,” he said.
“We were charging people to get in whereas the bars were free entry. They can also make their money by serving meals during the day. We can only make our money from 10pm to 3am.”
Mr Dunnett also worries about the job prospects for some of his colleagues.
“We employed a lot of single mothers who couldn’t work during the day because they couldn’t get childcare,” he said.
“They can’t get jobs in bars because the bars are open during the day.”