Lawyer for Reno strip clubs speaks out following council decision

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - When asked how his clients felt about the recent city council decision, attorney Mark Thierman was very adamant.

“Shocked. Surprised," he described. "They have been here 20 years they were born here. We run police stats that show we have less crime, less violence than anyone around us.”

The city council made the decision on September 13th to have the clubs leave the downtown area and relocate to industrial areas of town. The lawyer for Keshmiri Entertainment pointed to the vote itself as part of the problem.

“If anyone has some leadership ability, and I’m hoping that the new city manager does. They will reconsider their vote. If you look at the tape everyone was tired, it was 11:30 at night, and no one knew what they were voting on.”

There were a number of arguments made against the clubs, many were based on an undercover investigation that took place in February.

"We have a wonderfully attractive region to great companies to great people. But our Downtown is one area that is holding us back," said one proponent of the relocation.

The vote was made requiring the clubs to move to more industrial areas of town within 5 years. Thierman disputes the effectiveness of that idea.

“I think the report shows the opposite of what the city council is assuming,” he said. “The Wild Orchid and the Men’s Club were the cleanest of the clubs and had the fewest problems. Moving them away from downtown is the wrong answer, they should concentrate them downtown.”

The report found little of note at four of the clubs, though it said drug use and unsanitary conditions were found at Fantasy Girls and Spice House, both located several blocks outside of downtown, but still in the zone they are being asked to leave.

If clubs fail to leave by the time period allotted, it will be alcohol sales that are targeted. That would be a huge dent in the clubs' bottom line, which is a topic Thierman also brought up.

“The clubs generate $20,000 a month in sales tax. That’s $20,000 you want to replace with an empty building? That’s crazy,” he remarked.

The final ruling on this matter will come from the city’s planning commission.