No Nude Dancing For Financially Strapped Mining Town


Lead, South Dakota, is a town in financial crisis and the recent proposal to amend the state’s entertainment laws to allow nude dancing at bars in its historic district has been rejected. Voters in a turnout higher than normal voiced their disapproval, despite supporters who claim that an amendment would help to fill the coffers of the ailing mining town considerably.

According to Lead City Commissioner, Casey Borsch, the proposal was defeated by a vote of 535-303. South Dakota law already permits nude dancing in bars as long as it does not take place within a quarter-mile of any residence, business or community-gathering place.

Lead is located near Deadwood in the Black Hills and has a population of some 3,000 residents. Last January, city commissioners voted to issue a special ordinance and eliminate the quarter-mile rule for their city. This gesture occurred after the owners of the local Wild Thing Saloon on Main Street, just a few blocks away from the town’s opera house and public library, brought in nude dancers for two days last December and became very popular, drawing hundreds of extra visitors.

Best known as the site of the historic Homestake gold mine, which was once the largest and deepest mine in the Western Hemisphere until it ceased production and closed back in 2002. In its heyday, the mine yielded more than 40 million ounces (approximately 1.25 million kilograms) of gold and is famous for other scientific reasons as well. It became the site of the solar neutrino problem and /or the Homestake Experiment.  In the mid 1960s, researchers established a deep underground laboratory to observe neutrinos and other cosmic particles.

Neutrinos aside, the town needs to do something to attract more tourists. In 1989, nearby Deadwood legalized gambling which generated millions of dollars in revenue that went to the state in the form of taxes, etc.

Perhaps Lead, South Dakota should swallow its pride, take another vote and…take off its clothes

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