Every year, on the weekend before halloween and on the night of the Bisbee’s Black & Blue millionaires fishing tournament Awards Celebration, the Cabo Pimp N’ Ho® Costume Ball literally devours Cabo’s nightlife.
How Cabo’s “Pimp N’ Ho®” Got Started
Brian Balsley moved to Cabo (from Vail, Colorado) in the early 1990s to open Pazzo’s Pizza, a popular and successful restaurant in downtown Cabo San Lucas. In 1998, Balsley and his manager, Brad Baer, tooled around with the idea of throwing the first-ever Pimp N’ Ho Party in Cabo. Brian wasn’t familiar with the events, which parodied the Pimp N’ Ho balls of the disco era starting in the late 90s, but he quickly got acquainted with the idea.
Plans for the first party were finalized “in a matter of just three days,” as Balsley recalls, “and a customer agreed to dj in exchange for free beer and pizza.”
With 300 attendees, the first “test” event was a hit, even on such short notice. It was quickly apparent that the two Cabo expats had something very promising on their hands. Turned out (and even to this day), adults like to get dressed up too!
In 1999, Balsley promoted the first “official” Cabo Pimp N’ Ho® Costume Ball in Cabo San Lucas, and the rest was history. Within just two years, locals started using the advent of Pimp N’ Ho® as a celebratory launch to Cabo’s annual tourist season.
Highlights of Past Cabo Pimp N’ Ho Parties
By 2001, 400 party-goers attended the locked-down event –no one was permitted to come or leave between 10:00 pm and 3:00 am, making the 3rd Cabo Pimp N’ Ho® a real night to remember! The following year was so packed that they were short-staffed all night.
By 2003, the threat of cancellation by the promoters proved how popular the event had become. When news that the promoters might stop producing the event reached local party-goers, they “freaked out,” and the Cabo Pimp N’ Ho® Ball was back on! From then on, the event was sold out each and every year, and by 2005 they hit a new record of 800 people at Bodyshot Nightclub.
At this point, word began reaching celebrities too. In 2006, motocross icon Carey Hart turned out for the 8th Annual event, hosted by Dennis Hoff (and the Bunny Ranch girls). In 2007, baseball superstar Pat Burrell attended, wearing an outrageous costume, while burlesque dj Portia Surreal manned the decks.
What started as a small 300-person party had exploded into over 1,000 attendees by 2008. Plus more celebrities than ever turned out for the 10th Cabo Pimp N’ Ho®. Puff Daddy, Peter Safran, Christy Hemme, Leticia Cline, SoCal Val and legendary boxer Floyd Mayweather, to name a few, helped make 2008 a landmark year for the annual celebration.
In 2005, Balsley (founder and owner of the “Cabo Pimp N’ Ho®” trademark in Mexico and Europe) teamed up with longtime Chicago event promoter, Derrick Grahn (and his wife/partner Anastasia Grahn). The Grahn’s founded and operated Noche and Cabo Social magazines and Hautter.com, brands that many attribute to reshaping Cabo as a sophisticated nightlife and party destination.
Together, Brian, Derrick and Anastasia have turned the Cabo Pimp N’ Ho® Costume Ball into the wildest, most exciting, memorable and Cabo's most anticipated annual social event of its kind; attracting the world’s infamous, notorious and famous.
Like previous year’s, this year’s Cabo Pimp N’ Ho® is already attracting high-rollers, celebs and jetsetters, looking forward to letting loose at the Cabo Pimp N’ Ho®. Similar costume balls are now global party traditions, but here in Mexico, aspiring “pimps” and “hos” do this costume ball Cabo-style!