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County offered Kingdom closure for brothel land zoning

Another effort is underway to shutter a business that caters to residents’, er, voyeuristic tendencies.

Joe Richards, owner of the Kingdom Gentleman’s Strip Club at Highway 160 and Homestead Road, is planning to enter into discussions with county officials on an agreement that would see him close the business in favor of rezoning land he owns on South Homestead Road near the Chicken Ranch and Sheri’s Ranch brothels.

Former Nye County Commissioner Gary Hollis is leading the effort on Richards’ behalf.

On Monday, Hollis unveiled a plan that requires the county’s okay.

He said it would not be much different from an everyday business deal involving land.

“He is willing to do that (close the Kingdom) if the commissioners will make those four lots he has at the end of Homestead as brothel property. This doesn’t mean that he will get a brothel license. What we are trying to do is give him a way to make his money from the property. He can use it for another sexually orientated business for videos and a bookstore way down on south Homestead where it belongs,” Hollis said.

As for the Kingdom, Hollis said once vacant the site could be transformed into what he referred to as a “family friendly” type venture.

“It’s in the heart of Pahrump and it just sticks out like a sore thumb. I am also trying to find a buyer for it because it’s zoned for commercial, so I think a hotel/casino would work well at that location, or even a day care center,” he said.

Hollis in January approached the Pahrump Town Board with a similar proposal.

Discussions did not go as smoothly with the board. Conventional wisdom dictated that the town would have to de-annex 10 acres within the town of Pahrump boundaries in order to proceed. After subsequent town board meetings, however, the town’s attorney, Bret Meich, informed all parties that the town had no legal authority to annex or de-annex property.

“While I believe the discussion is appropriate and this board can consider any issues brought before it, it is my opinion that under Nevada law the town presently doesn’t have the ability to annex land,” Meich told the board in January. “Presently, Nevada law limits town boards and unincorporated towns from annexing unless they meet certain criteria and the town presently does not meet those criteria.”

A longtime Pahrump resident echoed Hollis’ position on the gentleman’s club.

Cynthia Powell said she sometimes grimaces when driving past the establishment due to some of the signage on display.

“I think most people object to the location. The fact that anyone can see the scantily clad girls with huge cleavages showing. I think that’s a little too much. It’s right on the highway at the first traffic light in town. It’s almost like a welcoming center for Pahrump,” she said.

Hollis, meanwhile, wanted to be clear that he’s not declaring war on sexually themed businesses in the area as he knows the brothels play a big role in generating revenues for the community.

“The town gets $30,000 in licensing fees from every brothel down there for our ambulance service. That’s $60,000 a year that goes directly to the town of Pahrump that’s earmarked for the ambulance service. If there was another brothel, they would provide another $30,000,” he said.

The former commissioner said he understands that the club is still open and providing jobs for local residents.

“This doesn’t mean that they are going to get fired or laid off. If everything goes as planned, they would just have a new location to work at,” he said.

Hollis is looking to hear opinions from local residents about the proposal.

He can be reached at 775-727-3169.

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