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Some Las Crucens are angry about proposed strip club

By Vanessa de la Viña, vanessa@kvia.com
Published On: Sep 06 2012 08:17:09 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 01 2014 06:22:05 PM CST

ABC-7's Vanessa de la Viña reports.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. -

A proposed strip club in Las Cruces is making some residents' blood boil.

Currently, the lot on the 2200 block of Westgate Court is empty, but if the property owners get their way, it could become the Bronx, the only strip club in the city.

According to the project application, the owner and manager of a company called Central Park LLC want to build a 4000-square-foot metal building so that Las Crucens looking for live adult entertainment don't have to drive across the state line.

The property is right off of Amador Avenue, but the document shows the owners would build a fence to block the club from the busy road.

The document also shows the owners expect the club to create 30 to 50 jobs, "which will add to the economic growth of Las Cruces by providing jobs and paying taxes from sales."

Owners write the club would be open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. They also plan on selling alcohol at the establishment.

ABC-7 called the owners listed on the application. The owners referred us to their lawyer who said they cannot comment during the application process.

The proposed club would be right next door to Eros, an adult book and video store. The store kept busy all day on Thursday showing there could be a market for adult entertainment in the city.

Many residents have come forward to protest the club.

"It's just something we don't need. We need commerce and we need businesses to come here to Las Cruces but we need the right kind of business," said Las Cruces resident Chris Johnson.

That's what many Las Crucens said more than 20 years ago. 

Back in the late 1980s, there was a strip club called the Lamplighter on Highway 70 East.

Residents told ABC-7 people were so outraged about it they would actually go there and harass anyone who went inside.

"A lot of people protested. They didn't want it. They got their way," said Vicky Manzanares, a resident who lives near the old strip club.

People in the neighborhood near the rundown building said they didn't like it then and they don't approve of a new one now.

"We didn't like it because our kids were smaller then, so I don't feel that we should have one," said Martine Jaurequi.

"This isn't an area for strip clubs really. I don't think so," Manzanares said.

The Lamplighter didn't last long.

The new project has yet to be heard by the city planning and zoning commission, but people are already angry.

"We don't need a business that's going to send a bad message, that's going to be destructive, that's just going to feed people's addictions and be a negative to our society," Johnson said.

The city planning and zoning commission is set to hear the proposal on Sept. 25 at 6 p.m. at City Hall. The public will be allowed to give their opinions at that meeting. People told ABC-7 they will not hold back.

What's uncertain is how many people would quietly support the business. The busy parking lots outside El Paso's strip clubs show someone's in the market for adult entertainment.

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