Weerawit Kuresombut, President of the Entertainment Association of Patong, said today: ''Venues in Patong have been asked to close by 2am in a letter from the US Navy.''
Most venues in Patong, Phuket's west coast nightclub hub, have become accustomed to staying open beyond the 2am limit in order to make as much money as possible.
''That means low income for us,'' Khun Weerawit said today. ''But of course, we still have to pay all the people who come seeking bribes.''
Estimates are that at least 14 official organisations are engaged in bribe-taking in Patong, a public meeting in Patong was told two years ago.
The cost of all the corruption is inevitably passed on to visiting tourists, including US sailors.
It is believed the US Navy letter that Khun Weerawit said he had received was intended to ensure the safety of the 5350 crew of the nuclear-powered USS John C. Stennis and its accompanying warship, the USS Mobile Bay.
Groups of up to 2000 sailors are rotating for liberty leave on Phuket, with the strike group anchored off Phuket's east coast deep sea port from Sunday to Thursday.
Estimates by US officials of previous carrier group visits have put the amount of money spent by the sailors at about the equivalent of $1 million a day.
However, the deaths of four patrons - including an English tourist and a French tourist - in a blaze at Patong's Tiger Discotheque at 3.55am on August 17 is thought to have triggered a reappraisal of the safety of US sailors.
At the weekend, one of Patong's largest discotheques, the Hollywood, underwent a lengthy evacuation drill.
The owner, Preechavude ''Prab'' Keesin, said today that he had spent 300,000 baht making sure the Hollwood Disco was safe.
''There is no foam insulation, we have 60 extinguishers and large fire exits, and we can adequately cope with up to 700 customers,'' he said.
''Our staff have undergone proper training. We replaced all the electrical wiring. Everything is by the law,'' he said.
Khun Prab said he and the owners of other Patong venues had spend four million baht rewiring the Soi Bangla strip with safe electrics.
Few complaints have been made since the USS Ronald Reagan became the first carrier to visit Phuket in 2009. US warships have anchored off Phuket for shore leave regularly since.