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Video Highlights Concerns About The Vault

November 21, 2012, 5:58 PM by Brady Mallory

Video Highlights Concerns About The Vault

New video shows outdoor fights, littering and public urination at businesses surrounding a Sioux Falls night club.  These are some of the reasons why neighboring business owners say The Vault has got to go.

The Vault is in a hotel-heavy area.  Some representatives from those businesses spoke out against The Vault's license, which was up for renewal at Thursday's City Council meeting. 

Now council members will decide whether or not to renew The Vault's liquor license.  Employees with Staybridge Suites, which is right next door, say they have reasons why The Vault is costing them business.

A Staybridge Suites employee shot video in July of Vault customers physically fighting in Staybridge's parking lot.  In the video, you can hear her calling the police.  Later on, one man walks up to her and apparently gets physical with the employee.

"It can't go on like this, it just can't go on like this," City Council member Greg Jamison said while he watched some of these videos.

Beyond the fight, Staybridge employees also complain that customers of The Vault are parking in their lot and crowding the streets, causing traffic issues.  They have also caught others doing things KELOLAND News could not air on TV.

"Patrons fornicating on guest vehicles in parking lots," Lorri Starr, Staybridge Suites Night Auditor, said.

Jamison spent the day watching video of men urinating outside, two guys and a girl drinking and then throwing the bottle on a hotel's parking lot.  Staybridge employees say these incidents, along with other behavior, is clearly visible to customers who want a quiet place to stay.

While trying to decide if The Vault fits in with the area, which is occupied by many hotels including The Hampton Inn and Holiday Inn Express, Jamison said a key element will be which business was there first.

"It does kind of bring up the question, an analogy of something like, if you built your house next to a hog confinement and then you complain about the smell; it doesn't work that way," Jamison said.

According to Jeff Schmidt with Sioux Falls City Planning, The Vault, at the time known as Coconut Joes, was there before the Staybridge Suites.  He said Coconut Joe's permit was finalized in February 2005, and Staybridge's permit was finalized in June 2005.

This is one of the reasons why Jamison said the council has a tough decision and does want to put The Vault out of business by pulling the plug on its liquor license.  The Vault's General Manager weighed in during Thursday's Council meeting.

"We've increased our security tons. We've added more guys. Special events we've managed activities with local law enforcement," Kacie Cawthorne said.

Despite that, Jamison said the videos make a case for the Staybridge Suites employees' complaints.

"The hotel, the neighbors next door aren't intruding on this business the same way they're intruding on his.  We've got to find a way for them to work together.  If we can't, the council will have to draw the line where it stops.  That's a huge financial burden that could occur to the property owner of the Vault," Jamison said.

KELOLAND News tried to reach The Vault's general manager and owner, but we were told they have no comment.  We also reached out to other business owners/managers/employees in the area, who also opted not to do on-camera interviews. 

The Sioux Falls City Council will vote on this on December 4.

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