A Closer Look: Should Reno’s Strip Clubs Be Relocated?
Here is Part 2 of Andi Guevara's look at the controversy over strip clubs in Reno.
The owners of Reno’s topless cabarets are well aware of the push to move their clubs into industrial areas, and they have every intention of fighting it.
"We're right where we should be. Right downtown. If you wanna go out on a Friday night to an adult venue, you come downtown" says attorney Mark Thierman. He represents Keshmeri Entertainment Group, the owners of three of the four strip clubs that stand to lose their liquor licenses if a new ordinance is approved. Thierman says if that happens, the clubs will stay put - and drop the age of admittance to 18; " It's bad for the community, because now 18 year olds who are wild are gonna come and they're gonna come drunk. They're not gonna be sober, they're gonna drink in the parking lot".
All the more reason for the strip clubs to move out of the downtown area, say those in favor of relocation.
One of the arguments is economic that potential new business have been shying away because of the negative perception. "If we have activities that disrupt people around them, it probably doesn't belong in the core of our city. It's our living room, we need to be able to welcome everybody", says Mike Kazmierski, President and CEO of Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN).
"We're here all night long, “ says Ken Bell, manager of the Wild Orchid, “We have heavy amount of security around, so we don't have issues, but we're also out patrolling the parking lot, we're watching neighborhoods"
Awaken, a non-profit in Reno, works closely with girls and women who have worked in the commercial sex industry; "I've spent the last six years, actually seven, eight year hearing story after story of abuse, trafficking, violence,” says Melissa Holland, director of Awaken.
Bell and Thierman disagree; "The girls know there is no prostitution, there is no sex" says Bell. "Drugs - drugs are everywhere, but there's no more here than there is in high school", says Theirman
Holland will be at the meeting and hopes other concerned citizens get involved, too; "We'll say our peace, we'll share the stories of the women who want to and we'll see what happens from here", says Melissa.
Channel 2 will be at city hall covering this story and will have a full report on the debate - and possible outcome.
To see part one of this story, click here.