Prospective buyers again seek license

With less than two weeks left before a potentially devastating deadline, the Crazy Horse Too topless club’s would-be owners again are seeking a liquor license so that the shuttered club can open as a money maker.

But Las Vegas City Council members, scheduled to meet on the issue today, have reservations about an incomplete police background check of the buyers, who have not yet finalized financing for the purchase.

The club was closed last year when the federal government seized it to secure fines and judgments against former owner Rick Rizzolo, who pleaded guilty to tax evasion.

On June 30, the club, which was grandfathered in under current zoning rules, is set to lose its ability to be licensed as a gentleman’s club. A judge has been asked to extend the deadline.

Mayor Pro Tem Gary Reese said Tuesday he did not know what was going to happen with the club and its prospective buyers. “I haven’t had any contact with them at all.”

David Dupont, one of the two men trying to buy the club for $32 million, said he was working hard on the deal.

“I think they’re going to be able to make a firm decision,” Dupont said. “I think we’ve done enough to prepare ourselves and prepare them to make that decision.”

The council is being asked to vote on temporarily approving a new tavern license for the club, on Industrial Road just north of Sahara Avenue.

Such licenses require applicants to go through a police background check, which in this case is not ready.

“I don’t think anybody expects to go out there and give them an incomplete license,” Reese said. “You’ve got no police report. I just feel that it’s important enough that we have to see something.”

Las Vegas police are working on that report, said Metropolitan Police Department spokesman Jose Montoya.

“It’s going to take us some time to complete,” he said, noting that detectives are going to have to travel out of state and request information from several jurisdictions. “It’s not going to be done tomorrow. It’s not going to be done next week.”

Prosecutors have asked a federal judge to push back the June 30 deadline to allow more time for the sale.

The Crazy Horse Too property is worth between $30 million and $35 million, with most of that value derived from having licenses to serve liquor and allow topless dancing. Without the licenses, the property is worth about $8.1 million, prosecutors said.

In court filings, the prosecutors argued that the loss of two-thirds of that value would hurt those with an interest in the property: a list that includes the U.S. government, Las Vegas and a man who successfully sued the club after he was paralyzed in a fight with a bouncer.

All of the parties “will be irreparably harmed because the value of the forfeited property will be dramatically less without the exotic dance use permit and the tavern license,” the motion said.

Keeping the licenses alive could be key to getting the deal financed, Dupont said. He and his partner have about half of the funding and are hoping that a temporary approval will clear the way to getting the rest.

It’s been tough to land backing for the deal, Dupont said.

“It’s going to continue that way because there’s a lot of risk involved.”

Contact reporter Alan Choate at or 702-229-6435.

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