County questioning the legality of Kingdom’s return

Less than a month after the owner of the Kingdom Gentleman’s Club announced he’s planning to reopen the adult-themed establishment, it appears that efforts are underway that may nix that action.

An item on Tuesday’s Board of County Commissioners agenda calls for a “show cause” investigation by the Nye County Sheriff’s Office as to whether owner Joe Richards’ closing of the club last year is grounds to nullify Richards’ old liquor license for the club.

County Commissioner Dan Schinhofen said after Richards closed the business down late last year, the liquor license should have been revoked.

“That’s what we are looking at,” he said. “He’ll have a hard time doing that since sexually-oriented businesses are not allowed in that zoning. The only reason he was there previously was because he was grandfathered in.”

The Kingdom, which was a strip club, was located at the busy intersection of Highway 160 and Homestead Road.

A grandfathered provision exempts an activity or business from new zoning regulations adopted after the business was in operation. Schinhofen said a sexually-oriented business is not appropriate in that locale and does not fall into the grandfathered category.

He also said rather than investigating the conduct of Richards, the wording of the agenda item should be more of a “show cause” discussion to revoke Richards’ liquor license.

“That’s more of what it is, to show cause,” he said. “He hasn’t been operating. He has a license for a business but he hasn’t been operating because the business closed down. To me, it’s a standard show cause hearing.”

Richards seemingly anticipated that continuing to have the liquor license at the reopened business would be a challenge.

“I’m thinking about making it for 18 years old and up,” he said last month. “That would be a plus for me in Pahrump because we don’t have anything like that here.”

Richards could not be reached for comment Thursday.

At that time, Richards said he planned to resume business within 30 to 40 days, and all of the necessary licensing for the club are in compliance.

Richards said if all goes as planned, he’ll hire at least four local female bartenders and many new dancers, most of which are from the Las Vegas area.

In September, Richards announced the sale of the Kingdom Gentleman’s Club, along with several other parcels of land to a party out of Utah for $1 million. He’s since had a change of heart as he mentioned last month.

“I did sell it and the owners are really good friends of mine and they had a little problem with it,” he said. “I’m going to keep the same name because we have the same corporation, which is the Kingdom and I still have a phone line in there. We’ve been doing some extra work to change a couple of things in it.”

According to the town’s business license department, the Kingdom Gentleman’s Club received its business license on Dec. 5, 2003.

Efforts to reach Nye County Planning Director Darrell Lacy regarding the zoning of the property were also unsuccessful.

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