What’s wrong with being sexy?

People always complain when old casinos get imploded, but thi truly is the end of an era: the Del Mar motel has had its license revoked. Why, you may ask? Because, in the words of the deputy city attorney, it is a “whorehouse.” This story must be seen to be believed. This is another one of those Las Vegas stories that would plausibly pass as satire or farce, but is, incredibly enough, real news.

From the LVRJ:

A 3 1/2-hour hearing featuring blunt talk from hookers and nearly 12,000 seized condoms ended Wednesday with the Las Vegas City Council shutting down a downtown motel that authorities say was a den of prostitution.

The council voted 6-0 to revoke the business license of the Del Mar XXX Movie Motel, forcing the Las Vegas Boulevard home of hourly rates and complimentary condoms to close by midnight.

“It is a whorehouse,” deputy city attorney Bill Henry told council members. “The business plan is hourly rates, whores and johns only, and run as many of them in and out as possible in 24 hours.”

A complaint approved by the council last month accused Ed Wrenn, the owner of the motel at 1411 S. Las Vegas Blvd., of creating a public nuisance by facilitating a continual criminal enterprise and refusing to take steps to curb prostitution.

But Wrenn’s attorneys argued Wednesday that the Del Mar’s red light bulbs, mirrored rooms and free pornographic movies were not designed to lure hookers and their customers, but simply to create a provocative environment.

“There is no question that this is a sexy hotel,” attorney Clyde DeWitt said. “It is not against the law to have a sexy motel.”

But during a four-month investigation that ended in late January, police officers repeatedly interviewed women coming from the motel who acknowledged being hookers and confirmed that they had just had sex with a customer inside a room there.

In the most dramatic moment of Wednesday’s hearing, two police officers wheeled before the council members more than 150 pounds of condoms seized from the motel during a November raid, dropping them before the council dais with a thud.

The four boxes held 11,955 condoms, and a handwritten log found with them indicated that the 35-unit motel went through an average of 144 condoms a day, Sgt. Eric Fricker testified.

Former Del Mar employee Richard Shives testified that it was his job to deliver condoms to hookers and johns before the motel adopted a policy of placing three condoms and four peppermints on the bed each time he cleaned a room.

“Sort of a turn-down service for the Del Mar?” Henry asked, drawing a smattering of laughter.

Officer Chad Russell told the council that during his several hours surveilling the motel, none of the customers checking in had luggage.

Shives, who worked at the Del Mar from 2000 to late 2004, testified that the motel’s business changed dramatically when Wrenn’s son-in-law, Valley High School teacher Ed Kammer, took over managing it in 2002.

Wrenn testified that Kammer started out making $40,000 a year, but he raised that to $105,000 because his performance was spectacular.

“He tripled the business,” said Wrenn, adding that Del Mar’s annual profit jumped from $200,000 to $500,000.

Shives said Kammer immediately began visiting topless clubs as part of his marketing plan.

“He said he was going there to advertise for customers for the Del Mar,” Shives said.

Shortly after Kammer took over, Shives said, the motel’s customer traffic went from about half prostitutes to 100 percent prostitutes.

This brought with it more ancillary crime, according to Shives.

Shives said it was routine at least once a month to see a frantic naked man running through the Del Mar parking lot.

“They’d gotten robbed by the prostitutes,” he said. “The crime rate is astronomical.”

Wrenn disputed that all the motel’s customers are hookers. The owner said: “These prostitutes are just a percentage of the action.”

Del Mar ‘whorehouse’ shut down

Here’s my thoughts:

First off, the idea of the Del Mar just being a “sexy” hotel brought to mind the exchange from This Is Spinal Tap, when the band members, upset that retailers have labeled the cover art for their impending album sexist, ask, “what’s wrong with being sexy?”

Second, from now on, whenever someone says, “What happpens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” I will have the indelible image of a frantic, screaming man, just robbed by a hooker, running through a parking lot.

Third, I love the fact that the owner said, “the prostitutes are just a percentage” of his motel’s business, as if that makes it all OK.

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