The address of a private residence in the south-central Las Vegas Valley is advertised online as Whispers, a premier swingers’ party house open only to couples and single women.
Visitors on Friday nights may partake in clothing-optional karaoke, according to the website. Photographs of themed rooms like “Purple Rain,” “The Rabbit Hole” and one with restraints hint at what might await party guests, who are required to sign non-disclosure agreements.
Whispers advertises itself as a “membership by association group” where “donations” are welcome – only $50 for an entire weekend in the winter season.
But while Clark County officials argue that the operation at the home on South Valley View Boulevard, west of Interstate 15, is an illegal sex club, homeowner Robert Van Kirk says the government is attempting to infringe on his right to enjoy his private property as he sees fit and consort with whom he chooses.
County officials on Sept. 12 notified Van Kirk that activity at his home had violated county regulations pertaining to prohibited uses in a residential area and told him to “stop use of the property as a sex club,” according to a lawsuit the homeowner filed in District Court on Dec. 30. The complaint is seeking an injunction to prevent county officials from imposing further disciplinary actions.
Already, county officials have issued a $100 administrative citation against the property in mid-December and had scheduled a follow-up visit on New Year’s Day to ensure corrective measures were undertaken, according to the lawsuit.
Van Kirk sued the county because he was concerned that additional fines might be levied before the end of the 15-day window to appeal the citation, and before his case could be heard on appeal, according to his attorney, Jason Wiley.
“We don’t want any subsequent action taken by the public response (office) pending the appeal of the administrative citation,” Wiley told the Review-Journal.
Van Kirk purchased the home in May 2017, according to county property records.
County officials did not respond to questions about the property on Friday.
Wiley declined to comment on how Van Kirk plans to disprove county allegations that he is operating a sex club, given the online advertising for Whispers, only saying that they will provide documentation and witnesses during the appeal hearing.
But the court filing indicates that Van Kirk plans to frame the dispute as a constitutional issue, raising questions over how the county defines a sex club: “Any business operated and maintained for the purpose of allowing one or more persons to view or participate in a live sex act for consideration.”
The definition, Van Kirk and Wiley argue, is unconstitutionally vague and overly broad.
The wrangle is not the first time county officials have sparred with private residences purportedly operating as a risqué commercial enterprise. In April, the county sued the owners of two adjacent residences in the south-central valley, alleging they were actually operating the sites as a nude luxury retreat.