Albert Bortz says more small business owners should take part in the Pennsylvania Sponsor-a-Highway program.
"It benefits the state, which is good, and it's a good marketing tool," Bortz said. "It's inexpensive and gets your business' name out there for people to see."
That business' name is Blush, the longtime downtown Pittsburgh strip club Bortz has owned for more than 40 years on Ninth Street.
In recent weeks, Blush become one of only two gentlemen's clubs in the state to sponsor a portion of Pennsylvania roadways under the state's Sponsor-a-Highway program.
"It's shocking more people don't (take part in the Sponsor-a-Highway program)," Bortz said of the program. "I'd tell them call me and I'll give you the phone number for who to talk to about it."
Blush now sponsors stretches of road down Interstate 376 Eastbound near Robinson and Monroeville. It's a straightforward marketing plan that's already paying off, Bortz said.
The club's red and black highway-side signs caught the attention of Pittsburgh Tribune-Review columnist Eric Heyl, and even a few members of Blush's clientele.
"And now you're calling me," Bortz said. "There's been a lot of interest in the program and I don't get much negative feedback."
The sponsorship does not mean scantily clad dancers will perform roadside clean-up on the Parkway—the Adopt-a-Highway Maintenence Corporation sends crews to clean litter from the road using proceeds from the business' donations.
"Yeah we don't go out and do the clean-up, but could you imagine if we did?" Bortz said. "What if I had the girls out there in bikinis? I think we'd be causing a lot of accidents."
Bortz said he selected a strip of road near Pittsburgh International Airport to catch the eye of travelers.
"I wanted somewhere where people would be coming in from the airport and coming in from Monroeville, where you have a lot of traffic," he said. "We wanted to catch people who are coming into the city and into downtown."