It looks like Pete’s Place Cabaret is here to stay — at least for now.
After much planning and plotting by the Star Valley Town Council to purchase the topless bar at a trustee sale Thursday, the bank canceled the sale after settling with the bar’s owner.
Now, much to the council’s chagrin, the town will have to continue living with what some see as an eyesore and nuisance.
“We are disappointed,” said Star Valley Town Manager/
Attorney Tim Grier.
“It is unfortunate from our perspective, but we tried our best to eliminate a nonconforming use.”
On Wednesday, Grier got word from a Prescott attorney representing the trustee sale that cabaret owner Joe Soldevere had settled with the bank.
A Prescott bank extended Soldevere a $300,000 loan and Soldevere owed an additional $25,000 in back taxes, according to court documents.
While Grier did not know the details of the deal, clearly the cabaret is off the market.
“I don’t know if it will come back up for sale,” he said, but the town is still interested.
When the council learned the cabaret was going up for public auction, it leaped at the chance to buy it. Mayor Bill Rappaport even pledged $10,000 of his own money to seal the deal.
The council saw it as a golden opportunity to reverse what was grandfathered in when the town incorporated in 2005, Grier said.
According to statute, the only way for the town to permanently stop the property’s use for adult entertainment was to buy the club and hold it for six months. After that, any future use would follow current town codes, which bar adult entertainment.
The town planned to lease the facility or sell it.
“Our plan was to have the money out short term,” Grier said.
“We had already been contacted by several interested parties.”
The town also planned to buy a billboard near Rye currently advertising Pete’s Place, possibly in conjunction with the Town of Payson.
“The councilors said they heard two issues in the last election and that was water and maintaining the rural integrity of the town,” Grier said.
“They responded to the voices of Star Valley with an imaginative idea.”