There was the following sentence in the New York Times (February 8) article titled, “Azerbaijan is rich. It wants to be famous.”:
“Oil-rich, velvet-rope-poor Azerbaijan, a country about the size of South Carolina on the Caspian Sea, would very much like to be the world’s next party capital.”
Curiously enough, none of Oxford, Cambridge, Merriam-Webster online dictionary and English Japanese dictionaries at hand carries the word, 'velvet rope' under the heading of velvet as I checked, though some include 'velvet carpet' and 'velvet glove.'
I understand velvet ropes are seen in airports, hotels and event arenas as well as a red carpet to receive dignitaries and stars. Please correct me if I’m wrong.
It seems to me that Velvet, the symbol of the rich and Poor seem contradicting each other.
What does “velvet-rope-poor” mean?