By Terrence McCoy
By Scott Fishman
By Deirdra Funcheon
By Allie Conti
By New Times Staff
By Ryan Pfeffer
By Deirdra Funcheon
By Kyle Swenson
But death and debauchery are apparently not new to the facility. "Do you have any idea of how much shit happens that people never hear of, because it never makes it out of here? Homicides, suicides. People lose all their money and kill themselves," the female employee claimed. Both said that because the Seminole nation doesn't have to report incidents in the hotel because it's on the reservation, arrests, drug use, and even deaths were going unnoticed by the larger public.
Managers, they said, "treat you like shit," and the turnover is so high that there are "two new people every week."
So why stick around?
Said the young woman: "I meet celebrities all the time. I've seen every single celebrity zooted out of their head." Just this week, she said, she met Dennis Rodman, R. Kelly, Pauly Shore, and Magic Johnson. And besides, "the money is amazing." When she worked as a server, "I made $500 a night."
At 4 p.m., there had been a shift change, so many of the employees were just learning the news as they got to work. Mumbled a dealer manning a poker table: "They don't tell us much. She's always here, though."
Half a dozen bartenders, however, swore they'd never seen her in the place. And they weren't giving out any information then. Out of more than 100 televisions in the place, not a single one was on CNN. "They won't let us watch news," a barkeep said.
A worker in the food court said she saw paramedics wheeling Anna Nicole through the lobby. But she didn't know anything more Thursday was her first day of work. Four other people we questioned said the same thing.
A Hooters waitress told us that she had never seen Anna Nicole when her manager appeared, got right in her face, and said, "Why were you 20 minutes late tonight?" She blamed traffic.
In front of the fancy seafood place Bluepoint, a teary, hand-wringing waitress was singled out for an outdoor upbraiding from her boss. He was pointing at her. Pacing. Swearing. Screaming. We made eye contact, and her whole face trembled with embarrassment.
Guests, meanwhile, were chattering about the news, many talking into cell phones.
A pair of pierced and tattooed young punks were discussing Anna Nicole's drug use. "It's not crack if you're rich, dude," one admonishes the other. "It's called freebase!"