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Update: The city of Reno is reversing course on its decision to allow stage dancing at strip clubs, which have begun to re-open despite Gov. Steve Sisolak's closure order. Shortly after 1 p. Thursday, city spokesman Jon Humbert said strip clubs that also have a restaurant or liquor would be able to open as long as dancers stayed on stage and didn't take their tops off. Clubs must focus on food and the bar.
Mark Thierman, lawyer for Wild Orchid and Fantasy Girls, said the clubs don't plan to have topless entertainers. He added he wasn't sure how the clubs would react to the new decision not to allow stage dancing. Reno's strip clubs are starting to re-open with the city's blessing despite Gov. Steve Sisolak's order that they remain closed to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Under Sisolak's most recent directive, strip clubs are to stay closed during Phase 2 of his re-opening plan. But a city of Reno spokesman said Thursday the clubs can open if they have a restaurant or a liquor that allows them to operate as a bar. As interpreted by city code enforcement officials, that caveat to Sisolak's closure order means the clubs can have dancers perform on stage if they don't take their tops off or perform lap dances.
There definitely cannot be private dances. Those restrictions, however, may lead to another clash between city officials and strip clubs about a year after a battle over whether the clubs should be allowed downtown was settled. The Wild Orchid and Fantasy Girls strip clubs plan to open at 7 p. The Men's Club has been open for about two weeks. Lawyer Mark Thierman, who represents the Wild Orchid and Fantasy Girls, said the clubs will be taking some precautions. Temperatures will be taken at the door. Air purifiers will be running and tables will be spaced out more.
And while there won't be lap dances, Thierman said the strippers will perform "air dances" in private rooms while remaining five feet away from their clients. Thierman also said dancers will perform topless on stage but will remain at least 7 feet away from clients. On May 28, Sisolak began to allow Phase 2 re-openings. Under the directive, restaurants and bars were allowed to open with some restrictions, such as staying at 50 percent capacity and requiring employees to wear masks.
His directive specifies that nightclubs, brothels, live sporting events, live performances and adult entertainment businesses were to remain closed. On Monday, Sisolak announced he would extend Phase 2 through the end of the month after the state began to experience a spike in coronavirus cases. As of Thursday, Nevada had confirmed 12, cases of coronavirus and deaths. In Washoe County, 2, people have tested positive and 72 people have died from the disease.
Anjeanette Damon is the government watchdog reporter for the RGJ. You can reach her at adamon rgj. If you care about shining a bright light on decisions made by your elected officials, please consider subscribing to the Reno Gazette Journal.
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