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May 13, 2011 05:52 PM

Some Worried About Nightclub’s Outdoor Concert

Sioux Falls, SD


A Sioux Falls nightclub is preparing to take its atmosphere outdoors for a rock concert. The group known as Papa Roach is playing outside The Vault Nightclub on South Carolyn Avenue.

The Vault is marketed as the premier nightclub of Sioux Falls, but Friday its parking lot is being turned into concert grounds. That means there is limited parking in the area. And that's just one concern that has grabbed the attention of police and neighboring businesses.

A stage crew has been busy all day setting up for the concert featuring Papa Roach. With about a thousand people expected to show up, you can also expect a police presence.

"One of the reasons we're going to be there is to make sure there's no problems outside the event," Officer Sam Clemens said.

But that's little consolation to the nearest neighboring business. Any vehicle not registered at the front desk of Staybridge Suites will be towed from their lot.

"We're the natural next best thing for people to park. We're very busy tonight. We're normally busy on the weekends. We're anticipating having to protect our parking lots for our guests," manager Travis Henjum said.

And that's not the only worry.  Henjum says they have problems with those leaving The Vault on a regular basis and Friday night's concert may only add to those troubles.

"It is an ongoing issue. We've seen people drive out of the parking lot, pull in our parking lot and chuck beer cans out under their car. It's not something that we want to be witnessing nor do we want our patrons, our customers, witnessing that either," Henjum said.

In phone conversations, a manager of The Vault told KELOLAND News he feels they have a good plan in place to keep the peace. That involves having security officers who are off-duty from the Sioux Falls Police Department. And they'll also have a zero tolerance policy, meaning they will tolerate no questionable activity.

Similar promises were made in 2006. Then the club was known as Coconut Joe's. Sioux Falls police responded to more than 90 calls at the club, including fist fights, stabbings and gunshots in that year. The department and city council stepped in and prompted new owners to clean up their act. The club reopened that year as the Lava Lounge, but continued to draw police reports. That closed three years ago.

Henjum says no matter the name, the problems have continued. He says he doesn't have a problem with concerts, but doesn't feel the nightclub is an appropriate venue.

"We're a business here. We sell a product here and part of what we sell is a residential setting and a good night's sleep.  A quiet, safe, secure place to sleep. And this type of event threatens that and threatens our business and we take offense to that," Henjum said.

Friday’s show is not the last one scheduled at the club this year. Four more concerts are scheduled between now and August.

PREVIOUS PROBLEMS AT NIGHTCLUB LOCATION
June 11, 2006 - Two stabbed multiple times, started as a fight
September 3, 2006 - Shots fired in the parking lot; nobody was hurt
September 5, 2006 - Arrest made in nightclub shooting
October 8, 2006 - Fights erupt in the parking lot
October 16, 2006 - Coconut Joes's closes
October 27, 2006 - Reopens as the Lava Lounge
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