The Iowa River Landing killed Dolls Inc.Posted: March 19, 2012
Driving past the work in progress that is the Iowa River Landing in Coralville this past weekend, I was reminded of the injustice faced by Dolls Inc., a “gentlemen’s” club that was forced out of business to make way for the development. There are, I realize, a number of angles of disgust with which to approach the issue of the Iowa River Landing. They include the shady use of TIFs, the poaching of a business from a neighboring community, and the building of a major development right in the flood plain. Those issues have been covered in depth elsewhere, so today I will consider the little guy (figuratively speaking, the owner of Dolls Inc. was Hatchet Jack, a formidable wrestler from back in the day).
Adult entertainment venues are disliked by many on legitimate concerns such as the degradation of women and the attraction to their grounds of an undesirable clientele. Those issues, although significant, do nothing to lessen the injustice suffered by Dolls Inc. When Coralville was in the process of taking over the area that is now home to the Iowa River Landing, businesses such as Holiday Wrecker were assisted in finding a new home. One business, however, was actively stymied from finding a new location: Dolls Inc. The legal, if morally dubious, business was barred from relocating anywhere in Coralville or anywhere else in the greater area.
That my friends, is an example of a community using backdoor means to achieve what could easily have been accomplished through above-board democratic means. If Coralville was intent on driving naked dancing ladies from their community, the proper way to approach it would be introduce a change to the city code, have hearings and solicit input from the community, and have the city council vote on it. Seriously, though, are we surprised that Coralville took the most expedient and developer friendly route?
As a bonus, enjoy this video of Hatchet Jack wrestling on a local Iowa independent wrestling show in the early nineties.