At Issue: Owners of planned gentlemen's club continue to lose ground in fight to open their business

Muncie has two popular strip clubs: Joker's Wild and Dream Club. Apparently, that's enough.

But Sam Stimmel, co-owner of the planned White Diamonds Gentlemen's Club, came to Muncie with ambitions of opening his own. However, he has met intense local resistance since word started spreading.

Now, surprising accusations of brazen trespassing and continued legal battles have reduced the businessmen's ambitions to an empty building, costing the ownership an estimated $100,000 in remodeling costs.

Stimmel said he believes Marmunce Realty, owners of the building where the club is to be located, would not have protested the strip club if it were not for the objections of several surrounding business owners who lease from the same realtor.

"Marsh and Dave's Video have been our biggest opposers," Stimmel said. "But I don't understand how Dave's can oppose our business when a 16-year-old can walk into that store and browse their adult video section with no questions asked."

Stimmel is right. Muncie has strip clubs, sex shops and video stores with extravagant adult video collections. So whatever the reasoning for turning White Diamonds away, wholesome community standards are not among them.

Instead, the realty company and local officials are making preposterous statements, the most alarming of which is that Stimmel was never granted written permission to even set foot in the building. Judge Richard Dailey went so far as to issue a temporary restraining order to keep the business from opening.

Yet Stimmel and his employees maintain that they kept Marmunce Realty clearly abreast of their intentions, sending building plans and maintaining communication throughout the renovation process. So what's going on?

A promising business -- one that would have attracted college students to a section of town not frequented by the campus community -- has attempted to open in Muncie and has been met with a pointless and costly fight.

White Diamonds can provide Muncie with a sliver of the life city officials are trying to resurrect. This pointless debate is an example of why that life will not return any time soon.002,'?-editorial 10.18.02 DNEditorial002SORT-¼+â-ä2AUDT

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