The proposal to open a strip club in Cripple Creek is dead for the present after a vote by the City Council on Wednesday.
Before a capacity audience of more than 70 people, the Council decided to leave unchanged an ordinance that limits sexually oriented businesses to an industrial zone on the south side of town. The proposed Wild Horse Cabaret club would have been the town's first such business.
The prospective owners needed the ordinance changed in order to buy the vacant Wild Horse Casino building and acquire a special-use permit and license to open the club behind Casino Row.
The Council vote was 4-0 against amending the ordinance. Council member Chris Hazlett recused himself, saying he wanted to avoid any conflict of interest as a business owner. The Council sought to avoid creating a precedent that would open the way for other sexually oriented businesses to operate near the casinos.
After voting, the Council took an informal public poll about the club through a show of hands. Eight people, including the prospective owners, supported the proposal. However, the rest of the audience opposed the plan.
"We have our gambling and a lot of people voted it in," said Susan Miller, a Cripple Creek resident. "But to have a strip club, I just believe that it goes beyond what we want here in our community. We need a bowling alley or something that caters to families."
The prospective owners declined to comment after the meeting, but in an earlier statement said: "Cripple Creek is not a kid's kind of town. It's already designed for adults, so why not stick to that? We understand that it's not for everybody. We wouldn't be located on the main strip. We aren't about to allow any illegal activities in or around our establishment. For every person who walks through our doors, $1.00 will be donated to the Homestead House located right next door to us. We need to keep this historic building going, so we'll try to help as much as we can. This will be a classy place."