A popular Sioux Falls nightclub's liquor license may be in jeopardy after neighbors stepped up to oppose its renewal. The Vault is next to several hotels near Interstate 29 who want to put their guests’ needs for sleep ahead of the Vault’s patrons' desire to party.
The renewal went before the Sioux Falls City Council Tuesday night, after the council moved the item off the consent agenda, giving both sides a chance to talk about it.
“The very idea behind going to sleep goes hand-in-hand with safety, security and quietness, all of which is under constant siege from the very nature of the business at the vault,” Travis Henjum, general manager of the Staybridge Suites and Holiday Inn Express, said. Both are located off Carolyn Avenue near The Vault.
The club bills itself as the "Midwest's Elite Nightclub." On Fridays and Saturdays, DJs spin club music, but the venue holds special events too. Those against the renewal say there isn't enough parking and there is even less policing to deal with the crowds and the problems alcohol brings.
“I've had patrons vomiting in the parking lot, the sidewalk, on guests’ cars. I've had to go out with buckets of water to wash the vomit so guests don't step in it in the morning,” Staybridge Suites Night Auditor Lorri Starr said.
The vault's management and owners say they are abiding by all the rules, even going beyond them in some cases.
“We've increased our security tons. We've added more guys. Special events, we've managed activities with local law enforcement,” General Manager Kacie Cawthorne said.
“The noise levels you have here on a Friday or Saturday are well within the limits of the noise ordinance. You still have it, but it doesn't violate an ordinance,” owner Kirby Muilenburg said.
And the club's owners say it does fit the area. That's what the council has to decide, even if neighbors want to shut the Vault doors for good.
“We see patrons fornicating on guest vehicles in parking lots. I've had to video tape fights between vault patrons,” Starr said.
Both sides have a few more weeks to form their arguments. The city council tabled the issue until December. The Vault was previously home to Coconut Joe’s and the Lava Lounge.