Some time ago I had the pleasure of riding around with a friend while he took care of his various business duties. His dad is very wealthy and my friend is in charge of overseeing a number of businesses including a furniture store, some restaurants, and two push button motels. He works about 18 hours a day 6 days a week with the prize that he will inherit all these assets some day.
We had a meeting one morning after which he was going to give me a ride home and intead asked me if I wanted to do his rounds with him. I had nothing better to do that day so I said OK. In Panama, a push-button is the ultimate motel. He has one with 48 rooms and owns half of one with what appeared to be 30-something rooms. The concept is as follows: People want to have sex with people they cheat with or prostitutes. However, they are afraid of getting caught. Also sometimes people live in overcrowded houses and dont have the opportunity to have sex at home. So, a push button works like this: You drive into what appears to be
a big self storage complex, although nicer looking. All of the garage doors are up and against the back of the wall is an adverstisement for the price of the room and if that room has any sort of theme. The room tI have attached pictures of is $33 for 2 hours. Some of the special rooms were $50 for 2.5 hours. One room had an S&M theme, one a cabaret theme, and they were in the middle of re-doing one to have a 50 shades of grey theme, although most were pretty plain.
So here is how it works so that you dont get caught cheating: You pull into the garage in your car. The garage door comes down. You push a button and it unlocks the door into the hotel room that is against the back wall of the garage. There is a mini-bar, bed, some have a bath-tub, etc. You do your thing. You can also order room service consisting of various alcohols, cheap food, and also there was a menu of sex toys and such you could buy. When your time is up you push an intercombutton in the hotel room and they ask you what you had in the minibar or whatever. You tell them and they tell you the price. You open up this little cabinet thing that is just like what you put your urine specimen into at the doctors office and leave the money there. You then go out into the garage and close the door between the garage and the motel room. Someone from the motel goes into the room from the motel side and checks that you told the truth about what you took from the mini-bar.
When she verifies that she tells the front desk which opens the garage door and you leave in your car. The entire transaction takes place without anyone from the motel or any other customer ever seeing your faces. Anyway, my friend claims that of his 48 room push button he averages 175 or so bookings per 24 hours (it is a 24 hour joint). From the motel side of it, you wouldnt believe the amount of janitors who were sitting around huge quantities of cleaning supplies waiting for people to get done. When I was there of the 48 rooms it appeared to be only 6-7 closed garage doors, however my friend blamed that on the time of day. (Or he is misleading about how popular the place is, I dont know). He let me take two pictures of a non-special room: One picture shows the door to the garage, the next one the bed. Had I been able to point 90 degrees to the right and take a third picture it would have been of a door to enter the motel operations as well as the little cabinet through which money is passed. On of the downsides is that as an all cash business they have heavy security concerns. He said a few weeks ago they were robbed by a gang of 5 guys and got six days worth of cash receipts due to the manager being lazy and not taking the cash to the bank. Of course, the suspicion is that therefore it was an inside job. All in all it was quite interesting.