Citizens Outraged Over Possible Strip Club in Destin

By: Sanika Dange, Brian Greig Email
By: Sanika Dange, Brian Greig Email

DESTIN Destin citizens are asking city council members to vote against a possible strip club proposal.

The owners of the company behind the proposal have apparently reached a settlement with the city on a federal lawsuit.

Destin representatives have been fighting legal battles with this new company, Trident-Operations, for almost a year.

But this debate in Destin goes back much farther.

In fact, legally, a four year old settlement may have already legalized the business.

Now residents are waging what could be the final battle.

The community of Destin is opposing "The Runway", an adult cabaret on Airport Road.

Concerned Citizen Kelly Haeusler says, "Why are we against a strip club in the middle of our neighborhood? Because this is the beautiful city of Destin, it would be the biggest travesty to ever happen to the city of Destin."

Atlanta businessman Terry Stephenson first proposed plans to open a strip club in Destin back in 2008.

The city kept Stephenson from opening at his original location, by promising he could open in an industrial park.

A year later, Stephenson was shot and killed outside his Atlanta strip club.

Years later, Trident-Operations came back to the city with the plans for the runway.

Citizens argue the city's agreement with Stephenson does not extend to trident.

Another concerned citizen, Prebbles Ramswell says, "We have to honor the law, we have to honor a contract that's been legally bound and set so at this point it may not have anything to do with whether they come or not, it may be more evolved of well we're going to be here, let's just not give them any business and that will be the best way to have them move out of the area."

Citizens are urging the community to call councilmen, write emails, and voice their concerns to the special council meeting next Monday.

Citizens for a Greater Destin Boardmember Lou Holzappel says, "My wife is seven months pregnant, she's going to give birth in April to a baby girl, and I don't want to raise my daughter in this environment. That's not why I moved to Destin."

The council plans to discuss the lawsuit settlement during a closed door executive session on February 24th at City Hall.

Ideally, citizens hope councilmen will vote "no", sending the settlement back to court where it can then then be decided if Stephenson's settlement applies here.


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