restaurant, in the same location, Dirt Bike Diner, was unsuccessful
and had issues with the wage and labor commission for non-payment of
employees in a legal manner. Upon the closing of the Dirt Bike Diner
and over the following months the idea for the strip club took hold.
and electrical changes ensued which included moving interior walls,
replacing ceilings, creating new bathrooms, building a raised metal
walkway covered in glass, and putting in new wiring. All done over the
4½ month renovation. Calling it redecorating he was able to clear
the interior with county planning, who either didn't realize or were
not that intent on making issue of the construction work that had taken
place without permits.
The County has
chosen instead to pursue a building violation that Lacey committed by
enclosing his already approved awning and patio area. The initial filing
against Lacey by the County made him take down the metal sheets that
enclosed the patio. Then County Planner, Terri Dickerson, came to review
the site and it was then determined that the square footage was such
that Lacey didn't need an independent engineer to sign-off on the structure,
and the siding was allowed to be put back up.
Now the County
is asserting that by enclosing the awning and patio area Lacey has created
a permanent expansion which would require permits to be filed. So the
siding must come down, again, maybe.
According to club
employees this tactic by the County has Lacey's patience wearing thin
and he is very concerned with a court date that has been twice pushed
back. On April 6th the County will address the numerous code and County
71 is local Grants Pass attorney, Dwayne Schulz along with an outside
1st Amendment specialist. According to club sources they plan to fight
all the way on the grounds that the County Charter is unconstitutional,
a tactic which has worked in other states.
But Club 71 faces
more challenges than just the County. Recently, Washington Mutual has
exercised its right to refuse service and they have told Club 71 that
they must bank elsewhere. This, however, was just the Club 71 account
and monies have been transferred over to the still existing Dirt Bike
Diner account also held by Washington Mutual. Also, with the nature
of the business, there has been a high turn over rate with employees
and there are now rumors of prostitution in the parking lot.
All of this, however,
may be moot as many issues could prove to be Club 71’s downfall.
During the US~Observer's 3½ month investigation we have uncovered
possible collusion with Mr. Lacey by one public official as well as
Lacey's own attempt to "bully" his way through the issues
by threatening key officials with pulling cable records and publicly
disclosing who subscribes to adult programming. Furthermore, Lacey signed-off
on County documents which contained false statements regarding key planning
issues and then bragged to employees about doing it. He
continues to pay employees "under the table" - this against
the wishes of his management team who, from the beginning, wanted to
run a professional, legal, business and to their credit they have made
every attempt to do so. At times they have even gone against Lacey himself,
who was allowing his underage son into the establishment until they
Should County Officials
get serious, as they say they are, and contact Federal agencies like
OSHA and State agencies like Bureau of Labor and Industries, there would
be no way for Club 71 to go on as is.
Members of the
Sunny Valley action group have stated that they aren’t against
Lacey having a successful business. They just don’t want to see
the business focused on flesh. “We just don’t want this
in our community,” they decry. And to all of those who support
the right for Lacey to have this type of business they say, “Sure.
Just have him put it next to your house.”
And with plans
to expand closer into Grants Pass, local supporters may just get their
chance. Lacey has been looking into buildings in the area and there
has even been rumor that a building is already secured.
No matter the opinion
on the establishment, the fact remains that Lacey did things illegally
by not following County codes, by allegedly fraudulently representing
himself and supposedly trying to blackmail county officials. Not to
mention the questions raised about a home near the club that burned
down and then was bulldozed before fire inspectors could complete their
With the legalities
far from over, one thing is for sure, Lacey will be spending quite a
bit on attorney’s fees. Something that could perhaps empty his
coffers. But then again, where does his money come from anyway? Perhaps
something the IRS may be interested in.
Speaking on the
overall situation, Ed Snook stated, “The committed people of Sunny
Valley and County Officials will not let this business continue. Period.
Looks to me like the party’s over .”
Note: Look for more upcoming articles on Club 71!