Strip club on hold as interest from renters grows for Bill’s
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – A deluge of interest from potential renters has made the possibility of a strip club inside of the former Bill’s Lake Tahoe casino unlikely, according to Mike Laub, the South Shore attorney who bought the Bill’s building in February.
Laub initially considered developing a strip club called “The Pearl” inside of the former casino, but has been surprised by potential renters’ enthusiasm for the building.
“It’s doubtful I’ll have any room for a club given the amount of interest right now,” Laub said during a phone interview on Wednesday.
It is unclear if a strip club would be legally permitted inside the former Bill’s casino following Douglas County Commissioners’ March approval of a body painting operation inside of MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa’s nightclubs.
Douglas County code prohibits “adult characterized businesses” from operating within 250 feet of each other.
Laub says he has received an average of 5 to 6 calls a day from a wide variety of prospective tenants since purchasing the property.
“We’ve got a tremendous amount of response from national, regional and local brands – sporting goods stores, restaurants, art galleries – you name it,” Laub said.
Since the attorney bought the building in February, contractors have been at work demolishing it’s interior. The removal of the building’s 11 foot ceilings was especially stunning, Laub said.
Sixteen foot tongue and groove ceilings will now greet visitors as they enter, Laub said.
The attorney sees the former casino headed in one of two directions, a retail complex or an entertainment venue housing restaurants and clubs.
“I have to say it could go either way at this point,” Laub said.
With much discussion going around about how Tahoe will reinvent itself following drastic gaming declines, Laub said he sees whoever ends up renting the building as an important part of the South Shore’s future.
Renters have also seen the chance for something special, Laub said.
“I would says that about 95 percent of the people who look at the property give a letter of intent,” Laub said. “Most people realize you’re never going to see this opportunity again.”
“I think the time for talking is over,” Laub added. “I think Tahoe has to start making some tangible moves.”
Laub said he hopes to have agreements reached with renters by the end of April.
He said he intends to submit plans for a redesign of the exterior of the building to the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency as soon as Friday.
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