In the Kenai Peninsula, Good Time Charlies boasts the only strip club within 120 miles. In the summer, it has 55 entertainers who dance on stage or if you prefer, on your table, either topless or nude. They do this in a building in Soldotna, off the Sterling Highway, atop a parcel of land owned by the State of Alaska.
Surprisingly, the State of Alaska is the landlord to a strip joint.
The Alaska state Department of Transportation bought the .79 acre parcel of land in 1991, when it planned to widen the highway. It paid $249,000 for it then (now it’s only assessed at $123,400) and instead of kicking the property owner, Charles Cunningham, off of the land, it chose to lease it to him for $2490 a year.
That’s less than $210 a month.
DOT spokeswoman Jill Reese admitted that it was an “unusual situation,” but that DOT wanted to err on the side of fairness and not put someone out of business, no matter the type of business, before the land was needed.
Until 2007, the State of Rhode Island also owned a building that housed a strip club called Desire. Desire’s rent was $7,000 a month. Rhode Island DOT thought it was getting a good deal for tax payers. The public, however, didn’t think that it was healthy for the state to be benefiting from sin quite so blatantly. The state forced it to move out shortly after it made the news.
In Alaska that probably won’t happen anytime soon. We don’t have as much of a puritanical strain up here. And we’re an “owner” state that is constitutionally mandated to maximize the resources for all.
Contact Amanda Coyne at firstname.lastname@example.org