Proposed strip club prompts review of city code, attracts job seekers

The OlympianFebruary 5, 2014 

Desire Video at 3200 Pacific Ave. is slated to open as a strip club this month.

ANDY HOBBS — Staff writer

Olympia still awaits a business application from the city’s first strip club, which attracted nearly 160 job applicants last week.

Desire Video at 3200 Pacific Ave. is slated to re-open as a strip club this month. An ad was placed on Craigslist last month seeking applicants for exotic dancers, DJs, management and wait staff.

News of the city’s first strip club has attracted a storm of online comments from the community, ranging from disgust to support. Owner Levi Bussanich told The Olympian last week that he expects to hire 20 to 25 full-time employees, along with 150 to 200 dancers who work on rotation as independent contractors.

Bussanich has operated Desire Video at his current building since 2001. The Internet’s impact on video sales is one motivation for changing the business model. He’s waiting to complete building upgrades before he applies for a permit with the city for the property’s new use.

City and fire officials are working with Bussanich on building codes, which come with specific height and distance requirements for the performance stage, for example. He is also installing a sprinkler system.

“I’d like to get up and running as soon as possible,” said Bussanich, who started the whole process back in August. Last week, he estimated the club would open in less than 15 days. About 160 people showed up for interviews Jan. 30-31, he said.

City staff will review the original 1997 ordinance for adult entertainment establishments. The ability to regulate this type of business is limited, said City Manager Steve Hall at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

Strip clubs and nude dancing are protected forms of free speech under the U.S. Constitution, Hall said.

“We can’t ban them altogether, no city can, but we can put rules around them so that they operate in a manner that we can enforce and hold them accountable,” said Hall, adding that police will monitor any strip club for illegal behaviors.

Adult businesses are limited to just a few areas in Olympia. No alcohol will be served at the club. According to city planners, the proposed strip club would meet the proper buffer requirements as far as distance from schools, parks and residences.

Andy Hobbs: 360-704-6869 ahobbs@theolympian.com

Andy Hobbs: 360-704-6869 or ahobbs@theolympian.com

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