Friday, April 12, 2002 | 11:10 a.m.
The Holy Cow! Casino, Cafe and Brewery, which closed its casino operations on Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard on March 22 but is still operating its brewery on the premises, is fighting its landlord's eviction efforts.
The brewery, a supplier to five other properties of Big Dog's Hospitality Group, said it is entitled to withhold water and sewer charges from April 2001 through August 2001 because it suspects it is being double-billed because of its landlord KSK Property Management's alleged "careless bookkeeping."
Kurt Wiesner, Holy Cow!'s general manager, in an affidavit filed in Clark County District Court on March 29, said KSK allegedly continued to bill its former primary tenant United Coin Machine Co. water and sewage charges even after the brewery -- which had been subleasing since its opening in March 1992 -- took over the property's lease in April 2001.
He said United Coin "inadvertently paid certain of these invoices ... which makes Holy Cow!'s double-billing concern of even greater significance."
The Holy Cow!, which said it closed the casino because revenues suffered after tourism fell dramatically in September, said it plans to continue to operate the brewery until it is relocated to one of its other locations, the Draft House Barn & Casino on Rancho Drive north of Craig Road. Wiesner has no timetable for moving the brewery.
Wiesner said Holy Cow! is also entitled to withhold all future water and sewage charges because KSK failed to respond to his requests for an accounting justifying $2,201 in water charges allegedly incurred from Oct. 1-30, 2001, and charges of $943 allegedly incurred from Nov. 1-30, 2001.
Wiesner, who disputed KSK's allegation that the brewery is in default of its lease for "failure to pay rents and failure to continuously occupy the premises," said Holy Cow! has paid rents totalling more than $535,000 since it took over the lease in April 2001 and that the lease has no provision requiring Holy Cow! to remain open.
Holy Cow!, which has a non-restricted gaming license at the site -- meaning it is allowed to operate more than 15 slot machines -- said its license was jeopardized because KSK allegedly failed to respond to the brewery's requests since January 2001 to comply with state gaming regulation disclosures.
Wiesner, who said the parties had engaged in "serious and sometimes heated" negotiations from November 2000 through April 2001 over the lease terms, said the brewery was interested in continuing to operate at the Strip location and even expanding, but noted that "without considerable improvement," the location remains "a very risky endeavor."
KSK could not be reached for comment on Holy Cow!'s allegations.