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Judge blocks Mandalay Bay’s attempt to evict Rumjungle nightclub

Updated Monday, June 28, 2010 | 7:32 p.m.

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Mandalay Bay today moved to immediately evict the Rumjungle nightclub in Las Vegas, but a judge issued a restraining order allowing Rumjungle to stay in possession of its leased space for now.

Mandalay Bay has been in litigation with Rumjungle’s owners over terms of the club’s lease for some two years, and Rumjungle tried to avoid eviction by filing for bankruptcy earlier this year.

A bankruptcy judge in Las Vegas last week threw out the bankruptcy case after Mandalay Bay attorneys complained the bankruptcy was filed in bad faith as part of Rumjungle’s litigation strategy in the lease lawsuit.

After dismissal of the bankruptcy case, Mandalay Bay acted today to close the club. Mandalay Bay has said it has the right to do so under a provision in the lease in which Rumjungle allegedly failed to achieve sales levels agreed to in the contract.

A sign went up this morning stating the club is permanently closed and Mandalay Bay, owned by MGM Resorts International, even invited displaced Rumjungle workers to apply for jobs at MGM Resorts.

But Rumjungle was successful in getting Clark County District Court Judge James Brennan to block the eviction.

"The restraining order was granted this afternoon after Mandalay Bay locked the club’s doors, evicted Rumjungle employees and issued a press release stating Rumjungle was permanently closed," Rumjungle said in a statement.

"We’re very pleased and grateful for this ruling, which will allow us to continue operations until our issues with Mandalay Bay are resolved," said Neil Faggen, manager of Rumjungle. "We promised our employees and the thousands of people who enjoy Rumjungle’s entertainment that we would fight to keep our doors open, and that’s what we’re doing."

Rumjungle maintains Mandalay Bay violated the lease when Mandalay Bay opened a competing venue, eyecandy.

Rumjungle insists it has the contractual right to be the only nightclub on the property.

“We’re looking forward to a final resolution of this dispute in court,” Faggen said. “In the meantime, we were not going to stand by and allow our doors to be locked and our employees left in limbo.”

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