Strip Club ordinance expected to be discussed this month

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) -- The hotly debated topic of strip clubs in and around downtown Reno is alive and well.

"We have done nothing wrong, nothing has happened. We are being picked on,” said Kamy Keshmiri, Wild Orchid owner.

Keshmiri says he doesn't know the reason the city is going after his business. But the Reno City Council in the past has stated strip clubs and adult bookstores that are not zoned properly have to move

In early January 2018, Mark Theirman, a lawyer for three strip clubs, including the Wild Orchid, put up a Craigslist add to hire a community organizer. Theirman says it’s to educate the general public about adult businesses, so people can elect leaders who are reasonable.

Some believe it's a tactic trying to stop the City of Reno from forcing them to move. Reno Councilwoman Jenny Brekhus isn't fazed.

"The more people who get involved and participate in our democracy, which at City Council is making public policy and ordinances, the better," said Brekhus.

In fact the opponents of the ordinance have invited others to join the dialogue.

In late January 2018, Ponderosa Hotel, which is owned by the Wild Orchid; sent residents a letter saying if the Wild Orchid is forced to move, their rents will double.

"I can't afford a rent increase. I just can't afford it. I make $900 a month," said a concerned Ponderosa Hotel resident.

"I don't know what is going on with that club. That is not my business. My business is finding a roof for my granddaughter," said a concerned. Ponderosa Hotel resident.

Theirman says the Ponderosa Hotel is financially supported by the Wild Orchid. If the strip club leaves, they have no choice but to raise rents.

"It would be wrong if we would stay quiet. Then the day after we are told move, 'okay by the way your rent is going up next month.' That would be a shocker.' Let's have them be a part of the process; they are people and they count. Let them put their two cents in," said Theirman.

During the meeting Vice Mayor Neoma Jardon didn't approve of the tactics used by the owner of the Wild Orchid, but she said the council is open to having discussion. Finding a common ground is what both sides have stated they are open to.

"Everything is on the table, but our existence," said Theirman.

But Keshmiri says this is a battle he's in for the long haul.

"We are going to put up one hell of a fight, I can promise you that," said Kashmiri.

Theirman says the Reno Planning Commission is expected to hear the strip club ordinance later this month.