An invitation to Baltimore strip club Scores' annual end-of-summer luau that included "a little part of the beach" inside caused a scare when it landed on a desk at Constellation Energy Group on Tuesday morning.
The party's promoters bought some sand from a craft store and added it to the invitations, sent to businesses and others who sign up for Scores' mailing list. But when someone found the substance in two of the unmarked envelopes at Constellation, they dialed 911.
Police and firefighters responded to the 18th floor of the 750 E. Pratt Street office tower shortly after 9 a.m., clearing the immediate area where the mail was opened, fire spokesman Ian Brennan said. But fire department hazmat team tests confirmed the powder was benign.
It wasn't the first time the invitations have caused alarm, said Andrew Alley, a Scores owner. Several emergency calls were made around the region, including in Washington, D.C., on Friday, and Scores management worked with authorities to calm the situation.
"It's unfortunate there was some misunderstanding there," Alley said. "It's of natural concern because of the way the world works these days."
The mailing went out to businesses around the region, he said. He confirmed Constellation's office was on the invitation's mailing list.
Constellation spokesman Paul Adams said the company has procedures and policies in place to intercept any suspicious mail and responded immediately, calling police.
"We quickly determined that the suspicious substance was ordinary sand that had been included in a promotional mailer and resumed normal operations at the Pratt facility," Adams said in an e-mail.
Brennan noted the mailing required "spending a lot of resources" in Baltimore, Washington and elsewhere to investigate the concerns. But Alley said the aim was only to spread excitement about the Aug. 29 luau.
"We want to have a great event," Alley said. "Every year it's been a great event."