Empire Scammers

Share your pictures and video. Tell us about the sights, sounds, and scents, as well as the rumors and truths found at Burning Man.

Postby mars » Sun Sep 07, 2008 6:57 pm

gyre wrote:Official burning man llc souvenirs.
Vintage ashes from the burns.
The plastic glow-in-the-dark Larry Harvey for your dashboard.
Maybe mass produced jewelry made out of crap left after the man burns?
And, of course, smoke from the various burns.


Very good, very good...
maybe we can also sell a full set of the Wikipedia Brittanica.
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Postby gyre » Sun Sep 07, 2008 7:03 pm

I'm serious.
Email me if you want to join the fun.
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Postby unjonharley » Sun Sep 07, 2008 7:10 pm

gyre wrote:I'm serious.
Email me if you want to join the fun.


I have a bag of moop you can start with.. I have not even sorted it for batteries or other bad stuff.. Could say "it in raw form"
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Postby gyre » Sun Sep 07, 2008 8:13 pm

Maybe a nice label for "Official MOOP"?
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Postby Elorrum » Tue Sep 09, 2008 9:25 pm

moop with verified provenance
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Postby gyre » Wed Sep 10, 2008 12:37 am

I like that.
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Postby oFZo » Wed Sep 10, 2008 9:20 am

mars wrote:Check this out...hurry, I don't know how long it will last:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerlach,_Nevada

Read the section called "Economy"--last few lines...


It's already been edited again! :lol:
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Postby gyre » Wed Sep 10, 2008 9:39 am

oFZo wrote:
mars wrote:Check this out...hurry, I don't know how long it will last:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerlach,_Nevada

Read the section called "Economy"--last few lines...


It's already been edited again! :lol:
And yet, it lives on the interweb!

From Wikipedia

The economies of Gerlach and Empire focus on gypsum mining near Empire, tourism in the nearby Black Rock Desert, and hunting. Empire is the classic company town of the United States Gypsum Corporation (USG). All residents of Empire work for USG and USG owns the properties and buildings. The Empire gypsum mine is the longest continually operating mine in the US. Most mines were shut down during WWII as resources were diverted to the war. For some reason it was determined gypsum was 'essential' and this one never closed. The town has a church, a public pool, a 9-hole golf course, a post office (89405), and Empire Airport for light planes. There is also a day care facility for the employees of Empire, and a convenience store with a gas station -- the only store for more than 50 miles (80 km). Gas is generally about 40 cents per gallon cheaper at the Empire store versus the Shell station in Gerlach, however the Shell station is 24/7 for credit card users and the Empire store has been known to scam people by selling unusable tires and stealing your gas caps so you'll buy one from them.
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Postby mars » Wed Sep 10, 2008 10:29 am

It appears that on Mondays they go over the edits from the weekend. So I figure that if random people edit it on Friday nights that we will be able to keep it up there for 2.5 days of every week!

Feel free to jump in! Only takes a minute to become a Wiki Editor!
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Postby gyre » Wed Sep 10, 2008 10:32 am

Don't get me started.
I might add religious bunny rituals.
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Postby oFZo » Wed Sep 10, 2008 11:52 am

mars wrote:It appears that on Mondays they go over the edits from the weekend. So I figure that if random people edit it on Friday nights that we will be able to keep it up there for 2.5 days of every week!

Feel free to jump in! Only takes a minute to become a Wiki Editor!


Ok :lol:
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Postby mars » Sat Sep 13, 2008 12:23 am

That Wikipedia seems to be at it again!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerlach,_Nevada

see "Economy"!
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Postby gyre » Sat Sep 13, 2008 12:28 am

I don't know the rules but someone made reference to cites.
If you document, maybe they will leave it in?
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Postby mars » Sat Sep 13, 2008 12:40 am

I went there, and it looks like somebody did cite a reference, check it out.
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Postby gyre » Sat Sep 13, 2008 1:16 am

The reference I read said they didn't accept blogs as reference.
I think they would accept a police report.
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Postby Simon of the Playa » Sat Sep 13, 2008 7:23 am

well, i personally thought the price of gas being $4.20 a gallon was a nice burny touch...
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Postby wedeliver » Sat Sep 13, 2008 8:27 am

If the tire had a hole in the sidewall, why wasn't that seen prior to buying it? If you drove from Empire to Gerlach and found out the tire had a problem, turn around and drive back to Empire, just like in the Default world, maybe they didn't know the tire was bad either. About the gas cap issue, most vehicles have locking doors over the gas cap's, In Nevada employees don't pump gas. All things that might have made your experience better. Remember boys and girls we have to accept some responsiblity for things that happen. Not that we shouldn't fight back when ripped off, but I don't think the BBC in Empire Nevada is going to be much help. I guess the locals will boycott the establishment, not.

If the stories are true that I would guess the business is suffering and will not be operated by the same people for long. Maybe they could rip off stoned burners once a year but Black Rock/High Rock people all carry guns and stuff and they would be a large percentage of customes during the rest of the year.
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Postby mars » Sat Sep 13, 2008 10:17 am

wedeliver wrote:If the tire had a hole in the sidewall, why wasn't that seen prior to buying it?


Well, it wasn't me so I can't say...but she/he did say it was slashed. I would guess that's why they told her they couldn't mount it.


maybe they didn't know the tire was bad either.


perhaps. and maybe they didn't know they were selling me my own gas cap.

About the gas cap issue, most vehicles have locking doors over the gas cap's, In Nevada employees don't pump gas.


Well mine didn't have a locking gas cap. It's an old vehicle. And maybe they "don't pump gas" in Nevada, but this guy was pumping the gas before I even exited my vehicle.

My guess is that they aren't trying to rip off locals, that this is just how they treat us burners.
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Postby mars » Sat Sep 13, 2008 10:32 am

Here are some words and thoughts from someone on another board about what happened:

<<Get everything you need in Fernley, and stop the financial hemmorage that is Burning Man right there… Just becouse I know the people in Empire and Gerlach, doesn't mean that I shop there. It is a hungry land, with hungry people. Hungry people are desprate. They often do stupid things.
Like rip off tourists. I, too, have paid the stupid tax, in a manner far too stupid to discuss here.

Every one is a "rich burner" when compared to the folks who live in Empire. I used to go up there during Elk season, and have eaten in people's homes, and enjoyed the hospitality. It might not be the third world, but it is painfully close.

…dont forget about the gap that devides the urban dwellers and rural folk. We may speak the same language, but there are cultural diffrences that often occlude communication. Sometimes, it is really hard to do something nice. That doesn't stop me, but I accept that no favor goes umpunished...

Yes, by all means, you should tell the world about the flim flam shenanagens that go on at the Empire store. I also assure you that Donny already knows about it. That box of gas caps that you saw didn't just magically appear...There are only three or four guys that think that scam is funny...The list of suspects is really small.

Most of the people who live on the 447 seem to view themselves as cheetahs, or lions, just waiting for the Burning Man Antelope to make their yearly migration. Most of the rest of the year, they go hungry. Northern Nevada is a really hard place to live.

Anyone who doesn't try to make money off the rich, urban burners is viewed as suspect. Some people just have more clumsy, foolish ways of doing it. Calling the cops, and complaining to the B.B.B. does little good. They, too, already know about this stuff, and a lot more, besides...>>
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Postby wedeliver » Sat Sep 13, 2008 10:38 am

You bought your own gas cap? Maybe that's Empires little art project. SHDBA. Stands for "see how dumb burners are". And you even want to admit that, first you didn't leave your cap off but you still paid $10.00 to purchase your own gas cap. I think that might be priceless theatre. The experience you received, the knowledge you gained. The story you have to tell.. I don"t know if I could admit to being fooled in this manner.

On the issue of the tire, first of all some idiot needed to purchase a tire in of all places Empire, Nevada. You do realize they don't have a tire store there. He bought a tire and $40.00 is pretty cheap out in the middle of nowhere. He see's old tire mounting equipment in the area where this used tire was discoverd and assumes it works. He does not examine tire for holes. Again, SHDBA.

I think what you are doing on Wikipedia is self-centered and childish. If you have a bitch with the store figure out why do you have a problem with a place that has been taking care of Burner needs for over 10 years.

FYI, Empire is a company town of working folks with a high Mormon propulation. The Empire store is where everyone goes for goods while at Burning Man. If they ripped off other people I think we would hear about it. The daily bus goes to Gerlach and Empire.
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Postby Simon of the Playa » Sat Sep 13, 2008 10:42 am

I'm afraid y'all taking this a little too personally, or collectively.

Let us not forget that the ENTIRE STATE of NEVADA is out to fuck you, one way or another, if you happen to be anyone traveling west to cali, you HAVE to go thru nevada unless you go way the fuck around north or south.

it's a toll of sorts.

same thing heading back east.

god forbid you are a black man in a nice car who makes the mistake of pulling off in say Carlin, or Elko, and not sticking to the business "loop".

i always recommend to people with new york plates to fill up in Wendover, NV and DO NOT GET OFF THE 80....stay on that road, it's your only hope for safe passage. "you we're swerving in yer own lane"* "Yer tailights were too dim"* "You didnt signal coming out the mini-mart parking lot"*
"Improper Use of High-Beams"*

* all of these have been used to stop, and subsequently search and arrest and seize the cars of poor suckers who did'nt know about Nevada's Zero-Tolerance laws.




all of which boils down to tasty auction prices for a used lexus with gold trim, no less.

i digress, and rhyme at the same time.


my point is, it is CUSTOMARY and almost a rite of passage to say pay a $50 gas can rental fee in Ely, NV, because you did'nt heed the signs...

a lesson learned.

so, now that you KNOW it's not just empire, or gerlach, or imlay falls for that matter, but NEVADA, you'll do fine...

just carry lube in your pockets, makes it easier.


(editors note....i actually LOVE nevada, and plan on someday making it my full time residence....i swear to fucking god.)
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Postby wedeliver » Sat Sep 13, 2008 5:56 pm

For Balance in the wall street journal piece about this years Burning Man the 'author says he was sitting next to a burner, in a Reno casino, and the burner won $20,000 twenty Grand. So Nevada can return what it takes away. We lived in Silver Springs Nevada for a while (a bit south of Fernley, on Hwy 50) and it can be a great place. Lots of nice people, bored to death a lot of the time, and lots to see and do if you like the outdoors and have a decent 4 wheel drive.
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Postby gyre » Sat Sep 13, 2008 5:59 pm

wedeliver wrote:You bought your own gas cap? Maybe that's Empires little art project. SHDBA. Stands for "see how dumb burners are". And you even want to admit that, first you didn't leave your cap off but you still paid $10.00 to purchase your own gas cap. I think that might be priceless theatre. The experience you received, the knowledge you gained. The story you have to tell.. I don"t know if I could admit to being fooled in this manner.

On the issue of the tire, first of all some idiot needed to purchase a tire in of all places Empire, Nevada. You do realize they don't have a tire store there. He bought a tire and $40.00 is pretty cheap out in the middle of nowhere. He see's old tire mounting equipment in the area where this used tire was discoverd and assumes it works. He does not examine tire for holes. Again, SHDBA.

I think what you are doing on Wikipedia is self-centered and childish. If you have a bitch with the store figure out why do you have a problem with a place that has been taking care of Burner needs for over 10 years.

FYI, Empire is a company town of working folks with a high Mormon propulation. The Empire store is where everyone goes for goods while at Burning Man. If they ripped off other people I think we would hear about it. The daily bus goes to Gerlach and Empire.

What horseshit!
I have singlehandedly destroyed businesses that operate this way.
I even took out classifieds about a crook a year ago.
You can make a lot of trouble when you know how.
It took me three days to get the state to prosecute a real estate scammer.
He went to prison.
Now he's a psychic.

When you use legal means to fight back, you are being extremely generous to people like this.
I would remind the property owner that his property value is being damaged by this.
I wonder if Nevada seizes land used in fraud?

In one case, I got a thief evicted from houses and fired from jobs.
All you have to do is tell the truth sometimes.

I don't think most cars have locking fuel doors and most that do, don't work.
And so what if they did?

"It's your fault your house got robbed for leaving it out in the open."
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Postby Simon of the Playa » Sun Sep 14, 2008 8:21 am

gyre, calm down....i think their little shenanigans pales in comparison to say, THE S & L BAILOUT or the current mortgage crisis, where the brokers all made their fees, and salaries and bonuses for screwing the american public, and the taxpayers pick up the fucking bill...


now THATS highway robbery...

what happens in empire and gerlach is small, dusty peanuts, and probably worth whatever is conned in life lessons and conversational stories...

i mean, even at a quarter per tell, i'm sure the "suckers" who got "ripped off" will more than get their ten dollars worth...

"did i ever tell you the time i was in empire nevada.....blablabla"


snake oil, it's as american as getting hit with an apple pie.

caveat empty.
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Postby unjonharley » Sun Sep 14, 2008 8:37 am

I worked in a "service station" when I was young.. I got commision for sales other than gas.

So we used a thing called short sticking.. Check the oil.. Only put your finger on the stick.. My finger was one quart wide..
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Postby gyre » Sun Sep 14, 2008 8:53 am

Are you trying to make yourself feel better?

I have some much cuter tales than the ones about someone managing to lie to me.
Some people have had bad luck after trying these cute homespun activities.

Gas stations look like fragile things to me.
A lot of things that might fail.
Has anyone contacted all the consumer affairs people in nevada yet to report them?
I bet their fuel measuring is crooked too.
Is thousands of dollars from burners still cute?
Are they paying taxes to the state on all the theft?
Did anyone ask the Nevada business tax folks yet?
How about the irs?

Some of my neighborhood thieves are about to be outed as informants.
That will make an educational story.

Gfod.
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Postby goathead » Sun Sep 14, 2008 9:12 am

horseshit!
I have singlehandedly destroyed businesses that operate this way.


Let's see, Do you have any idea how much extra, "inexperienced" help they have to put on just to handle the nightmare, "that is just about what we are, to the ones who are not local burners"?

Wondering who is going to show up for work or not? Who can he find to do this?

The owner himself is a burner, I am kind of surprised he even stays OPEN that week considering what a nightmare it is. I know him and most of his regular employee's would just as soon be out in the BCR themselves.
I also know he wouldn't put up with this is he knew it was going on also.

You don't like it OPEN your own store up here.

[/quote]
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Postby gyre » Sun Sep 14, 2008 9:40 am

If the owner is trying to run an honest business, then I have a lot of sympathy.
I always try to reach the owner of a business, though I often find it impossible.
That leaves the manager as the only representative.

From the response Mars got, it didn't sound like management responded to complaints.
This is rather common unfortunately.

Unfortunately owners are always responsible for the actions of employees.
That wouldn't change if I opened up a store there.

It might be more relevant to help Mars contact the owner.
Either he isn't interested or the manager never referred the complaint.
Maybe you can clarify if he is simply renting the property out or controls the business in place?

I had one job where I dealt with very large numbers of the public in a short time.
It was enlightening how many people tried to cheat me and how brazenly.
Perhaps since then I have difficulty spotting the ingenuity and humour of destroying the trust the rest of society needs to function.


I didn't understand this line "that is just about what we are, to the ones who are not local burners"?
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Postby goathead » Sun Sep 14, 2008 10:46 am

It might be more relevant to help Mars contact the owner.
Either he isn't interested or the manager never referred the complaint.
Maybe you can clarify if he is simply renting the property out or controls the business in place?


The store property is owned by USG, it is a company store. The store owner leases the store from them. He has had the store for many years, I have never seen him rip anyone off. Last winter for a while his fuel was cheaper then in Reno, he only changes his prices depending on what the last load cost.

It might be more relevant to help Mars contact the owner.
Either he isn't interested or the manager never referred the complaint.
Maybe you can clarify if he is simply renting the property out or controls the business in place?


At this point in time I doubt it. What might need to happen is the store might need to have a Washoe Co. sheriff deputy at the store to help direct traffic, provide some conflict resolution? Its always hard to resolve these things after the fact.

I had one job where I dealt with very large numbers of the public in a short time. It was enlightening how many people tried to cheat me and how brazenly. Perhaps since then I have difficulty spotting the ingenuity and humour of destroying the trust the rest of society needs to function.


I worked UPS for 11 years, the Empire Store sort of reminds me of what UPS was like at Christmas, HO, HO, FUCKING HO, WHAT A CROCK OF SHIT....

I didn't understand this line "that is just about what we are, to the ones who are not local burners"?


To the locals of Empire/Gerlach who don't like burners, we are a nightmare. Hell, even to the locals who do like burners, even we take a big deep breathe once everything is over.
LMAO, even DPW likes it once all us fucking yahoo's get the fuck off their playa..... [/quote]
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Postby gyre » Sun Sep 14, 2008 11:22 am

Resolution in cases like the two mentioned is easy.
The store has to reimburse the victims.
What has happened is that the employees that did this, embezzled from the store.
(The alternative is that the store was active in the fraud.)
And if all the company has to do is replace the stolen money and try to prosecute the thieves, they got off as cheaply as is possible.

Ultimately management always is the one that has to resolve these things, when it is possible.
Prevention is always the cheapest method of dealing with potential conflicts.


LMAO, even DPW likes it once all us fucking yahoo's get the fuck off their playa.....

I always enjoyed the week before the burn more and I knew I would even before I went.
I still enjoy the week of the burn though.

I get the feeling some in dpw would be happier if no one tracked any dirt across their nice clean playa.
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