Many of you have been writing us to ask about our plans and we thought it might be time for an update. Thank you again to everyone who took the time to complete our online survey. We think you'll find the results interesting if not surprising. First a disclaimer...our online survey was not scientific...it was open to anyone who wanted to complete it...we relied on your honesty..we hope that your answers were serious and thoughtful... we have no way of knowing if the survey respondents have ever actually been to Faces. We realize that some of our customers do not have computers and some, angry about the length of the survey did not complete it. We realize that some respondents had their own personal agendas but we think the numbers are an accurate snapshot of what St. Louis club-goers are thinking now. While some of the responses have left us scratching our heads...they seem inconsistent with the facts...they have given us all a lot to think about. We encourage you to share the results with your friends and let us know how you interpret the numbers.
Some good news for Faces on Fourth Street...80.2% of our respondents agreed that they found " the raw, sexually charged atmosphere at Faces appealing."
Ninety-one percent said that "it is important that St. Louis has a bar like Faces." Sixty-two percent told us that they "were satisfied with the club experience at Faces on Fourth Street." Ninety-three percent thought it was important that St. Louis have an after-hours gay bar.
Fifty-two percent said that "Faces on Fourth Street is my favorite gay/alternative club in the St. Louis area."
Eighty-nine percent were "sorry to hear that Faces on Fourth Street closed."
Sixty percent said that they like the music the DJs play at Faces more then other gay bars. Sixty-one percent said they were more likely to go to a gay bar that had a drag show, 72 % said they enjoy watching drag shows, and 62.7% said Faces should have more drag shows in the cabaret.
Some bad news for St. Louis gay bars...in fact a lot of bad news....while 89.7% agree that gay bars are an important part of our community and 90% said that gay bars give them a place to be themselves, only 39.9 % of our respondents are satisfied with nightlife in St. Louis. Seventy-six percent wished there were more gay bars in St. Louis. Fifty-six percent said they were going out to gay bars less then they had a year ago while 35.9% said they were going to gay bars less often because they were not happy with St. Louis gay bars. because they weren't happy. When asked to name an event or entertainment held at a St. Louis gay bar (other then Faces) that they enjoyed, more then half could not name a single event..those that did answer were frequently vague, offering general answers like drag shows or New Year's Eve without even specifying what bar they were talking about.
A few more surprising things from our survey...62% of our respondents have MySpace pages...52% have Gay.com profiles...24% were 31-35 years old...36% were 21-31 years old...9% were 18-21...and 31% were over 35 years old.
We will post more survey results in the future. We'd like you to take some time to digest and consider these results just as we are evaluating them. What does it mean that our customers like the Faces atmosphere, like our music, like drag shows, and think of us as their favorite gay bar at the same time we were forced to close our doors due to increasing expenses and declining attendance? What does it mean when a huge majority of respondents are not happy with St. Louis gay bars, wish there were more bar choices, but did not support the alternative that Faces offered?
Does the survey offer a clear path for Faces to take in the future....unfortunately, no...every Faces event listed on the survey was met with similar answers....large majorities who had been to our events, from foam parties to U Can Dance liked them...but the majority of our survey respondents had never been to one of these events...everyone who came, liked them...had a great time..but that word-of-mouth didn't persuade more to come....the most popular events on the survey, our Lights Out/Underwear Parties and our male dancers have drawn little or no crowds in the last few months. Over 60% of the survey respondents thought they knew all about events happening at Faces before they walked in the door, but our own anecdotal experience is just the opposite. Many of the survey essay answers seemed to reinforce that..often complaining about policies or conditions that have not existed in years...suggesting that we try things that we have already been doing consistently for years...We found it increasingly difficult to communicate with or reach our potential customers and that condition has not changed.
We are taking time to consider your answers...to study the gay club scene in St. Louis..to look at our mistakes...and to consider where we can fit into your life in the future. We don't have an answer yet. We have considered re-opening on weekends only...we have considered opening just one floor...we have considered gutting the building and starting from scratch...we have considered mothballing the club until we can determine there is a need..a demand for what we can offer. We took the summer off because we felt we could not sustain the utility bills that more then doubled this year. We hoped that the Illinois Legislature would act to rollback and freeze utility rates but they failed...our electric rates will continue to rise with no relief. We feel that the legislature has let down the people of Illinois.
For now...thank you for your support..please consider the survey results and share your thoughts with us.