Incredible as it might sound, there are EDC goers in Las Vegas this weekend lacking in festival gear. No booty shorts, no hydration packs, no Kandi necklaces, no diffraction goggles or even glitter pasties. The Drop (thedroplv.com), a rave and smoke shop located just under four miles east of the Strip on Flamingo, gets them what they need … and what they might not have known they needed before they walked through the door.
“We get people from Japan during EDC time, from China, from St. Louis, New Orleans,” says Robert Suarez, who co-owns the shop with his longtime partner Marie Romero. “People from all across the world are watching us, because we’re doing something different than everybody else, which is two totally opposite things: hip hop and EDM.”
The rave gear occupies most of the western half of the shop, while the rest is filled with Cookies-branded apparel, bags and accessories, exotic sodas, candies and snacks, stylized pipes and vape batteries and much more. Suarez keeps the vibe balanced, even subtly changing the shop’s soundtrack to suit who’s shopping there. During EDC, the ravers pretty much take over.
“It gets crazy,” says Suarez, adding that he usually hires five to six additional employees to handle the increased business. “We run out of a lot of women’s outfits. Men are easy to dress; sometimes they really don’t care what they’re wearing. But the women are the ones that love to use the fitting rooms. We sell out on body suits; we sell out on women’s face masks; we sell out on gloves, LED gloves. We have a major gloving community out here in Vegas.”
The only drawback to that EDC rush? It makes it nearly impossible for Suarez to join his customers at the Speedway. “We don’t get to go to EDC ourselves anymore until the last day [of the festival], because we have to work and run our business for the community and make sure everybody’s happy,” he says. “We have a lot of pride in [trying] to elevate and do things for the culture.”
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