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Vault's Violent History

November 21, 2012, 6:01 PM by Don Jorgensen

Vault's Violent History
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

This isn't the first time there have been complaints about this particular building that's had several names as a nightclub.  In fact, it's had a long history of violence and problems dating back to 2006.

Gunshots, stabbings and violent fist fights.  They were just some of the incidents that were reported in 2006, when the nightclub was called Coconut Joe's.

"The types of calls we get at Coconut Joe's are different," Captain Monica Meendering of Sioux Falls Police Department said during a city council meeting.

Police and city officials met with the owners back then, who promised to clean up the nightclub.

"99 percent of our problems happen when the bar closes," owner Rob Feller said.

The bar's owners changed the name of the nightclub to the Lava Lounge, hoping to attract a quieter and gentler crowd.

"I wish you all the luck, but you are responsible for your patrons and their safety, and I hope that happens," former city council member Kevin Kavanaugh said at the time.

But the newly name Lava Lounge soon began oozing with controversy once again, when the owners tried bringing in the Girls Gone Wild Bus tour.

Under heavy criticism and scrutiny by the community, owners decided at the last minute to cancel the show. 

"We all live here.  Every owner lives here.  Management lives here, and it wasn't a difficult decision.  It was the right decision to make with the responses and conversing again with members of the community," Kevin Di Piazza, Lava Lounge Director of Operations, said.

Now more than five years later, those community concerns have surfaced again, which some hope could be the right combination to close the Vault.

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