The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 2, 1996 · Page 26
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 26

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Wednesday, October 2, 1996
Page 26
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2 WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 2, 1996 APPLAUSE! THE SALINA JOURNAL ROCKIES SKI RESORTS SEND STRIP CLUBS PACKING By JAMES BROOKE c. 1996 N. Y. Times News Service DENVER — As fresh snow heralds the start of the ski season next month, Colorado's high mountain resort towns are celebrating their victory over a summer invader from the lowlands: strip joints. In Aspen, a "gentleman's club" that had opened on a chic street of antique stores and art galleries was closed last week by its owner, who left town complaining of spotty patronage in the off-season. Thirty miles to the northwest, in Carbondale, a similar club closed after monthlong picketing had discouraged customers. Long associated with the urban night, strip joints last spring began following the money trail out of big cities to Colorado ski communities, remote towns more associated with clean air, clean snow and clean living in bright alpine sunshine. The Aspen and Carbondale clubs opened, and, as "exotic dancers" started gyrating for tips there, more seemed sure to follow, making ski towns the newest frontier for an expanding $3-billion-a-year industry that last year drew 10 million customers to about 2,200 clubs around the country. But the reception here in the Rockies was as chilly as a mountain morning in late fall. When the owners of the Carbondale club, offering nude dancers, opened it at the site of a long-established country- western restaurant situated between a golf course and a children's playground, the picketing that would lead to its closing began. The picketing was led by Debbie Romanus, a physical fitness instructor and mother of two. "We didn't yell at the individu- als, but we turned away a few cars," said Mrs. Romanus, who added that the owners had shown "a total disregard for the community — they basically didn't care." As erotic dancing became the summer's cause celebre, half a dozen other mountain communities raced to pass ordinances keeping out sex-oriented businesses. "We learned from the Aspen and Carbondale experiences that most of the small communities did not have any regulations controlling strip joints," said Steve West, the mayor of Breckenridge, a town that passed a 24-page ordinance las,t month to restrict sex businesses. "This is considered a family- oriented ski area." Meanwhile, in Garfield County, which includes Carbondale, the county commissioners are now drawing up restrictive regulations against any future such clubs. And in Aspen, only three weeks after topless dancers had started performing at Club 81611 — named for one of Colorado's most sought-after ZIP codes — the City Council in late May passed an ordinance stipulating that waitresses must be clothed, that dancers may not come closer than three feet to customers and that all tips must go into jars, not into G-strings. Knowing a law bad for business when he saw one, and faced with a monthly rent bill of $60,000, the Aspen club's owner, David Parr, encouraged his dancers to collect petition signatures at the local post office for a ballot initiative on the new ordinance. So on Nov. 5, in addition to voting for president, Aspenites will vote on the "direct tipping" ban and other restrictions on strip clubs. (Enforcement of the Visit our new location! 833. E. Crawford, Salina 913-827-1100 Real People. Real Deals. Are you sure we're going to make it to Aunt Bernice's on those tires? Hough Piano & Organ .sw<VcY i'V ine Let us custom build your new church organ HELLO,BERNINAB GOODBYE, FRUSTRATION! We have made a special factory purchase of a limited number of HEAVY DUTY sewing machines from Bernina for those who demand the very bestl GUARANTEED performance on sheers or layers of denim; even sews on LEATHER. These new machines carry a full 10 YEAR WARRANTY and are perfect for the beginner or advanced sewer. With this NEW BERNETTE MODEL 680, you can choose from many stitches including buttonholes, hems and more. These machines are complete with lessons. Now make sewing enjoyable again for only $249. Previously priced at $499. Offer Good While Supply Lasts Layaways accepted, of course we take trades. nSl! MIDWEST SEWING & VACUUM CENTER 340 S. Broadway * Salina • 825-0451 M-F 9:00-5:30 Sat. 9:00-5:00 Use the Classified section of the Salina Journal to sell your baby grand piano, or any other instuments you no longer play. Salina Journal Classified"We work for you!" ordinance is suspended in the meantime, although that proved insufficient to save Parr's business.) Given Aspen's history, some see hypocrisy in the controversy that surrounded Club 81611. "In the past, those places were certainly there; you couldn't have a mining town with a lot of men and not have that," said Patricia Nelson Limerick, a professor of history at the University of Colorado. "So it's a little prissy a century later to say, 'Oh, we can't have that.' " Tourism brochures airbrush Aspen's risque past, saying it was "a mining town with an opera house." But in fact nighttime entertainment revolved around more than opera. During the silver boom of the 1880s, the town government was partly financed by a tax on prostitution. Running along the base of Aspen Mountain, the red-light district was on Durant Avenue, a 'muddy street of brawling miners and ribald women. Very respectable today, Durant offers visitors $300-a-night hotels — one "a ski lodge," another a "mountain chalet," another a "chateau." In any event, Aspen Mayor John S. Bennett says strip joints clash with the town's modern- day character, epitomized by the Aspen Institute, a study center devoted to humanistic principles. "Aspen devotes itself to culture and the great outdoors," said Bennett, who hopes the voters approve the restrictive ordinance. "This particular place didn't fit the Aspen dream one way or the other." But some retort that while growing rich, Aspen has also grown stuffy. They note that two of Bennett's predecessors posed nude for a calendar, "Men of Aspen," as recently as the 1970s and that Aspen bars once featured wet T-shirt contests. A strip joint on a street of expensive boutiques is "a direct result of the recent years of pu- ritanism that came close to eradicating Aspen's longstanding traditions of cheerful, public sexuality," The Aspen Times, the city's daily newspaper, editorialized at the height of the debate. "As Aspen became more wealthy and more conservative, there was increasing pressure to rein in the wildness and turn the town into more of a 'family resort.' " The writer Hunter S. Thompson, who lives outside Aspen, agreed, glumly noting that friends had dissuaded him from inviting dancers from the club for a bachelor party he had last month for a journalist friend. ' "It was like a concentration camp, men muttering around a campfire," Thompson said of the party. "This place has become over-policed. "Family values here means tourist family values: the rich can run around naked, but the tourists can't." Referring to Aspen's Red Mountain, where building lots sell for as much as $1 million an acre, Thompson said, "All these hot tubs looking down from the hill there, do you think they are full of clothed people?" Rebuilding Lives i in Times of Emergency/Disaster: Safe Streets Fair Taxes GARY SWARTZENDRUBER For State Representative District 69 Pol. Adv. Paid For By Joili Helm, Chair - Loretta BalZC, Treas. E Her live Education Q9K Q19R iiqi3iai3i3i3iMLiiiiiaLTLiHyiuiLTiaLiLwqiqiaLiia^^ PR ^JCotne. ROf ESS ^ Jl^&cu/tn, Oxygen Delivery Systems, oxygen concentrator, liquid & compressed gas portability systems. Call Ginger today for more details. 1331 Armory Road, Salina, 825-4400 or 1-800-572-6177 aaraBH^qaqHq^aHKaqeium^ Disaster can strike anyone. When a family in our community suffers a loss, the Salina Area United Way makes sure services are available to assist with their urgent, basic needs. Disaster services may include food, shelter, clothing, medical care, and counseling. Because you care, people are informed and prepared to meet the crisis and resume normal living conditions. Your donation to the Salina Area United Way rebuilds lives in times of emergency and disaster. Together, we're building a better community. Together, We're Building A Better Community Box 355 / Salina, KS 6 ''*:i"-"_'' II j - —" "** .•• •"••;• ~n OCTOBER Your Choice OFF! All Finishes Exceptional savings on two of our newest paints! OF $50 OR MORE. SAVE on regular and sale priced paint, painting supplies, stains, wallcovering and more. Not valid in conjunction with any other discounts. Coupon hat no cash value. Coupon expires October 7, 1996. Coupon # 174 91996 Hie Sh«win-Williami Company. Not responsible for typographical or artwork errors. Sherwin-Williams reserves the right to correct errors at point of purchase. ALL SAVINGS OFF REGULAR PRICES. Choose from over 42,000 wallpaper patterns with our LOW PRICE GUARANTEE!* Find a lower price, well match it! Now through October 31 37%-64% Off All Sherwin-Williams Brand Wallcovering Books! Ceiling papers, lining papers and iabrics found In sample books not included. 'Low price guarantee applies to retail sales only. Competitor's price must be verifiable. See store lor details. WHERE TO GET CONCORDIA I 14 E. SIXTH (913) 243-3106 MCPHERSON 220-222 N. MAIN (316) 241-4025 SALINA 2134 PLANET RD. (913)823-3731

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