WWL>Topics>>Think Tank 1010am Strip Clubs in the City

Think Tank 1010am Strip Clubs in the City

Sep 14, 2016|

Are there too many strip clubs in New Orleans?   The City Planning Commission is sending recommendations to the City Council after receiving a report on the nude dancing establishments.  Some insist the free market place should determine the number or strip clubs, but others argue the bars are a breeding ground for prostitution and drugs that should be limited to allow for better regulation. This hours guest: Tim Sprat - VP-French Quarter Business Association; Board Member of the French Quarter Business League & VP of Kirkendall Management (they own: Penthouse NOLA & Baton Rouge; Gold Club in Gonzales & Crazy Horse in Port Allen Jim Kelly - Executive Director, Covenant House New Orleans

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

And good morning Dave cone and a think tank for Garland Robinette on this wonderful Wednesday here in the Crescent City when we have a great. Great three hours. Radio for you coming up here in the thing tank next hour and ask if you're making is a much money as you would like. Are you and your family bringing in more money this year than last year. You know the Census Bureau just released figures showing that Americans saw their first. Household increase in nearly a decade last year with median household income. On the rise for the first time since the Great Recession I'll tell you on average how much Americans are earning and you'll be able to see how you stacked up. Tell me if you feel like you're making enough if you're not making as much as you want how column what's holding you back. Then coming up in the 12 o'clock hour should politicians in North Carolina changed the lawn now under pressure. From the NBA and NCAA. As they continue to pull. Events out of North Carolina because of their laws dealing with LG BTUs. Of bathrooms that coming up in the 12 o'clock. This hour in the think tanks. We're thinking about strip clubs in New Orleans and what should happen after hearing yesterday. From the planning commission. Ended without any recommendations to the City Council which will next consider. Whether or not there should be year reduction in the number of strip clubs in new world and that happens set on the numbers strip clubs if there should be new licensing regulations and inspections of strip clubs. War our current laws adequate. But just not being enforced well enough. Will take a look at this from many sides this sour I want your calls at 5042601870. And your text messages at 87870. Let me now. How you feel about the controversy. Surrounding strip clubs in New Orleans to help us start the discussion we welcome in Tim spratt. Vice president of the French Quarter business association give more attempt. We're glad you could be here we want to talk to the French Quarter business association about this because. The issue has increasingly become not only about strip clubs in New Orleans but specifically about those in the French Quarter and some of the conversation yesterday's planning commission meeting. Dealt with why are we just looking at strip clubs in the French Quarter and not strip clubs city wide. And that was an interesting debate that I think was part of the reason that. The planning commission ended this public hearing without a recommendation to the city council on now we'll see what the City Council does with it when they take it out. Let me ask you in general first where does the French Quarter business associations. Stand. On the issue of either limiting the number of strip clubs reducing the number of strip clubs. Or putting new regulations on strip clubs. It yeah we've formed a special committee on it to look at the issue. And and what we decided it is after after looking at the existing rules and regulations that were in late. Regarding. I don't use the establishment and that. BP didn't sit there are pretty well regulated and and it's just a matter of enforcing the existing law. On the books and you know. I think it is the operation church it was a would've resulted in some of the businesses closing. And you know maybe media. Restaurant music venue and or maybe you know maybe there are other other clubs new operators that con man. I don't know Bratton conversation. Yeah well let's let's for people who may not remember. Tell them the reason really this conversation started was because almost a year ago. The state and local authorities conducted an undercover sting that they called operation trick or treat kind of a cute name. For sending undercover agents into the strip clubs throughout the French Quarter to see what they could see. They found. And a great percentage of the strip clubs illegal prostitution going on. Other lewd acts as they put it where strippers and customers were apparently engaged in illegal activity that. Maybe wasn't strictly prostitution but is not allowed under the law and they found drug. Use and drug sales going on in the strip club so that's how this entire discussion began. After operation trick or treat. And you bring up an interesting point do you say the French Quarter business association of which are the vice president. Decided that if they would just enforce the laws on the books. They eat. Things you think would be okayed that could clean up is a term we keep hearing over and over again this sort of illegal activity going on in some strip clubs. Sure. Yeah I mean. I think I think that Iraq I think you know I had operation sugar tree you know I think it puts spotlight on this human but the volatile business and the was really a great law enforcement. Effort by the HEC. But unfortunately. You know in. Human error in the red. They didn't punch all the way and because some of these businesses were were able to day. Deo and they operate and you know according to their consent decrees which basically settlement agreement. Latin dale and you know. They pretty much are dealing with them the good with many of the good operators are already. And and so I think that where. This city the City Council which ultimately directed Citibank mission look at this issue. And he's seal on the public outcry about that issue. Com and rightly you know I mean we're we're just not right you got a bunch of clubs that are not in the right thing. You kind of got it through and shut case they do bad stuff but yet their issue and now. So so. The bid did it's just to be clarified the French Quarter business association would have liked to have seen these clubs that were found. To have been homes to prostitution lewd acts and drug. Abuse. You would've liked to seen them shut down taken out of business. Well I think it in Egypt on Anke by K state is you know Diana and I think that. Primarily when you look at that they were primarily one operator that was that was responsible for a lot of the boat back conduct that half. Happen and you know I. I think it did it matter you know that was that option I think now that it was an option that. That. That that was kind of let up the table I mean we talk about being in the stream. Different organs says he is very much in favor of clean clean up the French quarters so. He's got I get the point being that he's got there on time now and if they they're one more time yet that this switched. Wage you know as that we we with welcome because they're violating the terms of their agreement. Tim you are business owner. And just that we all understand where you're coming from on this here the vice president of the French Quarter business association but what businesses do you. I don't know they needed I our per hospitality group called her and they'll management. And but that organization. And we have our own and operate the and a club. And I grew street and a couple of other gentlemen's bet jet gentleman called the announcements across the state. And we all and operate some some restaurants as well. And you think I guess I'm Melissa and your your comments so you think there are good. Operators of adults live adult entertainment establishments. Generally what we call strip clubs and then their obvious there are some bad ones that allow. This prostitution lewd conduct and drug abuse to go on. Yet I think that we're in their there're a you know there many of the club were decided that done the club where we're not sided and anything to look at it that the war I report city planning commission Wednesday issued. This month. The city planning commission even acknowledge that that that there are some good operators. Com on on the on street in the current quarter. And and they're probably changed they have properly trained management. They have you know security mechanisms in place they they do a lot of things that that prevent the activity. Does the French Quarter business association thinks that strip clubs are good for the French Quarter. I. You know I think a vibrant tourism. Our economy will let what we've seen another city and San Diego looked at it this UConn that basically waited there. Where they are all use a establishment contribute to the girl tourism economy and it found that day actually help you know that that. Convention and did so in an individual and part of a vibrant. Nightlife and tourism economy. Incompetent. A dole he's Dallas so. I think it's not only important an issue you the French Quarter well I think important important to the tourism and economic economy. About a money brings people to town and they spend money and they are one of the reasons they come to New Orleans. Is because they know in New Orleans there are a good number of adult. Entertainment establishment strip clubs where they can go and see. People participating in adult activities naked dancing. And they can enjoy themselves in that way and you think that's a draw that brings people here to spend money and it's good for our tourism account. It. You know its interest Inca site you look at New Orleans which has. Historically been very successful in cultivating. A culture of lazy label on let let the good times roll of pay the French Quarter is someplace with things happen that don't happen in lots of other places across this country. But on the flip side you look at what Times Square has done and and they made the decision in New York to transform that into something very different New Orleans is decided by and large to not. Back away or shy away from that. Genre of entertainment. And it seems like new worlds is done a good job of cultivating that and I think people know what there for when they come to New Orleans what is available. On the buffet of entertainment that crosses so many different. Options. Are. There and you bring up bring York. Kind of looking back at the article and study in York and you know I think that the issue that we face new warning is unique. And and we can't we're not injured around the current quarter and put them by skyscrapers. And you know that that. Redevelopment of Times Square. With such a unique. Opportunity from a land use and land development standpoint. Network is not afforded that opportunity in the French Quarter yet been given this historic nature are building. And and and use it in you know our our geographical area. And you know it is all just because. Because. That area you know involved. You know property values that weren't so great and you know they had. Media outlets and what it was just a lot better team court order that they were all he's quart or that our players now you know. It shows that it wasn't a tourism attraction it was a tourism deep traction there are more so wasn't it. People didn't wanna go there who. We're from Montana. Right it yet or twelve million that tore it down to an area. And that is that a note niche market. And so when you when you look at that studying the in other studies that I'm the the people who want enforcement or want change the zoning site to. I think it really because it's really comparing apples to. I Tim I'm gonna put on hold right there we're gonna come back with him spratt vice president of the business a French Quarter business association in your calls at 5042601878. And text messages at 87870. Last year Jim are big 870 pretty jaguar opinion poll we get back. Are there too many strip clubs in New Orleans you can log on and go to WWL dot com we'll see how your voting. After this we're talking about strip clubs in New Orleans are big 870 pretty jaguar opinion poll asks are there too many strip clubs. 53% of you voting online at WWL dot com say no 47%. Say yes we're talking about it because the City Council next we'll take up a study from the planning commission that among other possible. Recommendations would include capping or reducing the number of strip clubs vice president of the French Quarter business association Thames Brad is our guest Tim do you think and as the French Quarter business association think there are too many strip clubs. No we don't think there can be sure caught that bank. I think we just need to make sure that that we have good clubs. I think you know we like we talked about cleanup history. We just want to make sure that that the street and that community. And did environments Victoria's commented it is 81. And that they can visit they can have a good time and down and. I think I think really. To get the to the heart of the matter I think it really kind of a market decision you know I mean wolf we talked earlier about. Bad operators content being on a short leash the one they got caught up in your country. I think we'll find out soon enough whether or not they can stay open or not a legitimate business model. And and then and then more on and it will find out and you know they. Elite eight opener of the get close. It's we've business Jason feels like the free market should dictate the number of clubs. If you watch movies. You don't actually go to strip clubs I think most people are left with the impression. That if you have the cash you can get just about anything you wanted to strip club. But its own simulate what you're saying. During this interview is that while some clubs have illegally allowed prostitution and lewd acts in New Orleans. Others do not under any circumstances. Allow that kind of activity. No I mean these club that that operate well. Date they do not allow it add all their yards on all and people. Entertainer will be you know fired on the spot and ask Germany that believe the promises that if there's any indication that any. Illicit activity is happening these managers he's where managers you know routinely. Frequent each of these. Floors in these rooms that that. And entertainers are performing and and and it is a very very controlled Anbar early and we we get caught up of what the movies then and the TV should show. And that's Raoul on how most people expansion close most people probably never even the people who are fighting against and probably never billion. Yeah I act and an end when you get out of the gate and them the real Rick reed dirt I think what people are really looking forward kind of a voyeuristic experience you know I mean people. People really aren't. Going in there. Trying so it more often. Nine Tim I have we run out of time I appreciate that you're sharing your thoughts and the opinions of the French Quarter business association. And we'll see whether the City Council takes this up. Where this issue is gone a match and we'll talk here along the way before we get to thanks so much for joining us on WW. And spread vice president of the French Quarter business association coming up in the next half hour we're gonna hear from the executive director of the Covenant House a new world runs. In advocated. For those who are victims of sex slavery who says we have too many clubs and they're not being well regulated. 10:35 good morning near the think tank I'm Dave Toni and for Garland Robinette. And we're thinking about strip clubs in New Orleans after the city planning commission public hearing yesterday ended without any specific recommendations to the New Orleans City Council. The council Max will consider whether or dot. The city of New Orleans should limit the number strip clubs reduce the number of strip clubs add additional. Licensing and regulation to strip clubs or allow current laws to be adequately in forest to regulate strip clubs. Where getting the other side of the story now and learn joined by Jim Kelly the executive director of Covenant House New Orleans and Jim I think you'd be accurate to say you're an advocate. For those who have been victims of sex slavery. And so David we covered outs work. We're. Young people and total global people. Who had been caught up in human trafficking. And certainly strip clubs charge borrowers are so pilgrims were human traffickers. Now I think I think human trafficking has become a kind of it's a Vanilla term that I don't think a lot of people appreciate the full impact of when you say human trafficking. You're talking about. Young. Human beings that are. Essentially forced into sex slavery right. That stricter there were two other sports. And there. They're m.'s creditors are human traffickers. And we we cover Castro street over a hundred young people a year. Court so important middle irons and their human we try. Our men and in many cases. Duties that are victims oh there were term survivors. Where we have to get out of the world as quickly as possible. Because. Between users to them. That ticket that and welcome them or not you know it's true. Murder you don't want to attack it it is sending an email protection. All in order. And we all your. And or other victims that we were quicker than continually work. I'm how do this issue relate directly. To the number of strip clubs into law experts on regain let me steer it where you stand on this issue the City Council will consider a number of possible. Courses of action. Current one of which would be reducing the number of strip clubs another would be happening yet so that they can't be any new strip clubs and so on them last some of the current strip clubs. Are closed. And another would be creating a new licensing system that would include. Each strip club having to get a specific license to operate and have regular inspections. To ensure that there operating within these new regulations. Then others are saying no the current laws on the books are adequate they're just not being in forest to protect. The workers at the strip clubs where do you fall in that array of options. Can I gave spectrum will roll out laboratories where should I think everybody in the commission that we have to better recourse. Too so that I think that the all commissioners were creek we have to do a better job. I've been working existing law the only new law that I'm aware of that has an attitude that to the group. Is that no one under the age of 21. Will be allowed to dance club. And that's been maligned New Orleans for several years it's now a statewide law. That no 120. Can dance in a club something that no 121 should be able to work in any capacity in the. That's right the Christian Palmer another advocate on this solution to their their important super prepared port next to their. But the only new law on the books. It about eight to 21 of the reluctantly. And 102 point one. We want. To be protected but we're not part of a rule where you'll regulate. Pay on their very. In looking at the very important remote here pretty. Alcoholic who gold at the near term outlook for comport recruit not important. I think everybody agrees that an impact and hurt the group but at a certain amount you know owners should you agree that beat better. Though so wearily it's okay so. You go yeah. And nobody's saying nobody is said hey let's just let them run Willy Nilly do whatever they want if there's prostitution fine if there's lewd act OK if they're selling drugs whatever. It seems that everyone who's spoken on this issue says they need to enforce the current laws better. Promised we have NO PD that doesn't have enough cops. We have shortages of funding and perhaps advice isn't the biggest priority when you have a city that as. Rampant violent crimes so. Put all those thoughts together and with the current atmosphere what is your recommendation on how to better regulate these clubs. Are excellent partner uproar. It would have. To undercover. Police officers who work part car. You know impaired. And go in the and Byron violate them and constitute. I could pick up the order that river could really care so we're not talking about a lot of manpower from the police department. And I were talking about eight. Strip in street circuit court of the current order that we want to be conflict. And and remember win. The alcohol tobacco control went in and did their operation trick or treat it down drug dealing and prostitution that is not simply are what are. There what in every one of the vote based cited. There what ongoing drug deal. That's been called. A recorder that was certain purpose of the club that they investigated. Breakdown brought known him park the country. You American epic in place because it couldn't record and apparel. Review in the garden cart. Director of the restaurant where we wouldn't sit back in their own. You know both the republic hot rod and prosecution. In and caught. A certain part that the equipment repair it with other drug and got to Burton has caught. Another example when it would not be content. One on the odd cent. But the by rep in room one on the last four months at a complete and opposed by book super street. Miles from the 100 block to the 500 block more than half of all vice arrests in that one block and went which overhauled right there Jim. Because we got to take a break point come back I want you to tell us specifically what is your recommendation what do you hope the City Council will do. Reduce the number of strip clubs cap the number of strip clubs. And last two RB gates avenue pretty jet where opinion ball. Are there too many strip clubs in New Orleans will see our you're voting online at WWL dot com listeners and hundreds of your text messages and 87870. Activists. 10:48 good morning I'm Dave cone and for Garland Robinette our guests this half hours Jim tally with Covenant House New Orleans Jim are there too many strip clubs in New Orleans. Yes. Let me declare war. Because we cannot enforce the rules and regulations in the just technical. We have over twenty strip clubs in the world. After all on mr. groups and we know what happens. And so many people who get caught up in strip clubs and eventually and opinion mantra. And introducing the number you think would make you more manageable for the authorities to regulate. Absolutely happily there and and record your review all the so. There are a lot of oh lead could be cleaned up and meet people that have been. Are they're good apples are there strip clubs do you believe that operate. Properly within the law without lewd acts without prosecution without drugs that are not gateways to sex slavery and human trafficking. I don't know maybe. One quote you 100% crime. I have not been in their. I think their art art art in their power boats are built on who would drug known. Crucial I think the mark on the court could help police inquiry to. Arbitrator or court. Like that hopefully. But there are all what our legal help lead at all and who were Bjorn drug court. So what is your recommendation to the City Council currently there are like 21 strip clubs in the city health pressured their. I think it would it would tiger but he clinically. Typically. Are there should be warm for the hurt trick or certain book suburban street that there there could potentially over Khan who grew to trick him. That the number along urban street could decrease. Down from about seven condemned. Ten of those clubs thank should be read eliminated. Or time. And and seven would be manageable and awaited authorities to properly regulate those to prevent these clubs. From being havens for prostitution. Or who backs draw. That the majority of young women who week airport cover two and human trafficking. Started in critical not only you in the world that are brought the country but the majority. Young man. Involved in human crap started could. And once it once they're willing to take off their clothes and dance then someone is that going to approach them. And pressure them to go beyond that to not only dance but to also perform sex acts to become a prostitute. Correct. But it clear they're notes bad apple into in the Portland you apart pollution could complain. I you have got the Olympic park you your regular you have certain sometime confirmed propaganda activity to let alone and young women. You're in a co promote pro. I'd Jim we appreciate your help us think about this issue here and the think tank. You say reduce the number of clubs and better enforce the laws on the books we'll see what the City Council decides. When they take up this issue some of your text messages and 8787 in we'll see how your voting in our big it's a pretty pretty jaguar opinion ball. After this. 42% of you voting online at WWL dot com say there are not too many strip clubs in New Orleans but 58%. Think their car. Text messages coming in an 878 and one person does make a simple law requiring a strip club to have a police officer present. And pay for 24 hours a day seven days a week. Nicklaus has legalized drug and drugs and prostitution and the problems all of I'm not sure about that doesn't shut down strip clubs and you shut down the tourism the French Quarter now no brainer. The president says strip clubs are evil exploitation of women. I wonder. If you're callers would want their daughters to be strippers analyst says New Orleans. The problem is not the strip. NASA's. The times I go to strip clubs are for bachelor parties as does not enough strip clubs in New Orleans. Another says there are not too many strip clubs in new ones in the president of the too many cars on the road to him a federal court. It was a gimme a break this would be like Vegas cutting down its CNET Moses free market should that the number of somebody else asks here's the question. Asked the clubs that pay forty to 60000 dollars a month. What would you put in their place a T shirt shop they can't pay that for the property taxes on those clubs those buildings. As a lot of money because of the money they generate. And New York City you know eager to Times Square now you'll find a three story Toys 'R' Us where it used to be a strip club or a peep show you'll find an Eminem store. Where the type of activities take place. I don't think that he wants to generate the same kind of tourism. With an Eminem store at Toys 'R' Us in the French Quarter but the strip clubs to. Yet brings money yen yet generates tax revenue is no doubt about that but some people think that the price we pay for that is Q hi what do you think. An interesting hour thanks for helping us think about it.