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November 26, 2014

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Joe Downtown: Fremont Country Club gets OK for 18 and up shows

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Bryan Steffy/WireImage

The Fremont Country Club grand opening attended by Mayor Carolyn Goodman and husband and former Mayor Oscar Goodman and with entertainment by Louis Prima Jr. in downtown Las Vegas on Wednesday, March 6, 2013.

Fremont Country Club has booked a few bigger-name acts — Hanson (of "MMMBop" fame) played there last September — but it has never made the big splash that its operator/promoter, Big Daddy Carlos, promised.

The large brick building, which years ago housed Metro Police's fingerprinting station, is at 601 Fremont St., which is the epicenter of East Fremont Street's redevelopment.

Standing before the Las Vegas City Council this morning, Carlos said he will be able to get more acts if he could book three shows a month to people 18 and over.

Carlos said his connections in the music industry have made it clear that without that 18-and-over provision, he would not be able to book many big-name performers.

"We've consistently lost those shows that need to be downtown and change the face of downtown," he said. Conditions of his current license allows customers 21 and over.

No one argued with him, and not because Carlos' gym-pumped arms were as round as some of the council members legs.

Councilman Bob Coffin, who represents the area, said it was "time for this to happen and it is time for this kind of entertainment to be on Fremont Street."

Joking, perhaps, Councilman Bob Beers said the "problem with these acts is these singers don't enunciate their words."

In terms of security, city code requires one Las Vegas police officer per 200 people, Carlos said; he will have 2.5 per 100.

"We want everybody to have a great time," said Mayor Carolyn Goodman, "but you have to be really tight on (security). Because one or two violations and it's gone."

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