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In the dimly lit room, flashing lights beckon the next dancer to take her turn on the pole. The three guys choose a table near the stage. A group of strippers approach, sliding seductively into their laps. They just got off work from a local sporting goods store, he adds, and want to cheer up their buddy, who recently broke up with his girlfriend. But that story is a total lie. These officers are at the vanguard of the city's efforts to kick the strip clubs out of downtown.
Like other cities across America, Reno is trying to remake its economy by luring high-tech companies to town. Episodes 1 and 2 are out today. New chapters will be released every Tuesday until Nov. The series exposes the motivations of those involved in the fight, pulls back the curtains at the strip clubs and lays bare the true consequences of luring tech giants to town. Reno, a city oftucked into the eastern edge of the Sierra Nevada mountains, has long been famous for vice — from quickie divorces in the early s to legalized gambling in the s and the spread of strip clubs in the s.
To the uninitiated, Reno today is a tired casino town, the butt of jokes told by late-night comedians and schlocky TV shows. Tesla has built a giant battery factory on the outskirts of town. Google is building just east of Reno, and Amazon has long had a distribution center in the area. With developers circling and the Reno City Council looking to revitalize downtown, a loose coalition of power brokers and activists formed to pressure the council to take on the strip clubs.
And they could redevelop that into a really, really interesting boutique hotel or apartment building. He was a record-breaking discus thrower and hometown hero. At age 50, he still has inch biceps — and a shock of black hair he wears in a manic mohawk. Keshmiri sees the campaign against his clubs as an affront to his status as a revered athlete and successful local businessman.
He has found himself fending off rumors that his clubs were dens of drugs and prostitution while deflecting what he considers lowball offers from developers trying to scoop up his property.
I went to school here. And for them to do this to me, it makes me bitter. In addition to strip clubs, Keshmiri owns the Ponderosa Hotel, a dilapidated motel attached to the Wild Orchid. As the city closes in on his strip clubs, Keshmiri draws those tenants into the fight by threatening to double their rent if the city succeeds in closing his clubs.
That terrified people like Velma Shoals, a year-old grandmother raising a teenager at the Ponderosa. The Reno City Council engaged in the fight, taking up a of measures that could ultimately oust the clubs from downtown — or make doing business there very difficult for the club owners. To find out what happens, subscribe to The City for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen. You also can visit thecitypodcast. Follow the podcast on Twitter and Instagram thecitypod and on Facebook.
Anjeanette Damon is the government watchdog reporter for the Reno Gazette Journal. You can reach her at adamon rgj. Facebook Twitter .
Listen to The City, Season 2. How far will a city go to shed its reputation? Subscribe to the podcast. Published am UTC Oct.Spice house strip club
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