Las Vegas Sun

February 13, 2016

4 sex parlors closed down

The city moved swiftly yesterday with a new strategy to shut down businesses, closing a bathhouse, an adult theater and the only two remaining massage parlors for violations of fire and building codes.

Mayor Bill Briare said the move was the result of a staff meeting last Wednesday in which he and the City Commissioners informed department heads they were unanimous in wanting these types of businesses either in compliance with every ordinance or closed.

"This shows a recognition on the part of department that the mayor and city commission are avid about this and they went ahead an did their duty," Briare said.

The only two licensed massage parlors in the city, The Velvet Touch, 2224 E. Charleston Blvd., and Sultan's Palace, 2309 Las Vegas Blvd. South, were closed for "15 to 20 violations each," according to Briare.

Howard Senor is listed as owner of the Velvet Touch and Baxter Boulet is owner of Sultan's Palace.

Also closed were the Mini-Review Theater, 2206 E. Charleston Blvd., and the Vegas Bathhouse, 1413 S. Main St.

Briare said the Mini-Review, owned by Mike Kaplan, had only two minor violations which could possibly be corrected in a day, and the Vegas Bathhouse, owned by Frank Piper, had almost 100 violations.

"There is no harassment here," Briare said. "We have a hard-working fire prevention bureau. The codes are there and they are not new. These places, were in violation so they were shut down."

Briare added that each place could correct the violations "at their own leisure, because going to open again until they're corrected."

He added that if the violations were not corrected, each place could lose its business license.

The action came less than a week after the first meeting of the new commission, which is composed of four commissioners and a mayor who all had controlling sex-oriented businesses as part of their platforms when elected.

Briare and newly elected Commissioners Myron Leavitt and Roy Woofter all campaigned on the issue in winning their seats June 4.

The two holdover Commissioners, Ron Lurie and Paul Christensen, based their campaigns on ridding the city of pornography when they won their seats two years ago.

Lurie agreed with Briare that the action was made possible because of the unanimous support of the commissioners and mayor.

"My basic feelings are that the previous commissioners and mayor (George Franklin, Hal Morelli and former Mayor Oran Gragson) had different thoughts concerning these types of businesses," Lurie said.

"I feel the steps we are taking now just requiring the people who work at city hall to carry out the job and go after the people who are in violation of our regulations.

"It is a pleasure to know all the commissioners and the mayor think alike and feel the same way about these types of businesses," Lurie added.

Briare said that all businesses in the city will be inspected to see that they are conforming to city codes. He added that in the future he wants to see that it is a policy that code vioaltions are corrected before a business is issued a license.

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