‘A bittersweet victory’: City, strip club representatives agree to settlement (LIVEBLOG)


Destin’s five year struggle with a strip club began at the now-defunct Oasis on Mountain Drive.

Destin Log file photo
Published: Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 01:04 PM.

Cheers, handshakes, hugs and tears — that was the scene after Monday night's executive session.

“The people of Destin made it clear that they were not in support of the club, particularly under the terms of the settlement that allowed for alcohol,” Councilwoman Prebble Ramswell told The Log. “Ultimately, I believe it was important to take a stand in order to preserve the image and character of our city and represent the wishes of the majority of our community.”

With a 7-0 vote, city leaders agreed to a settlement with the proposed developers of The Runway, which was set to become the city’s first strip club. As part of the agreement, the city will pay Trident Operations LLC and related partners a sum of $1,750,000 and they will purchase the property at 908 Airport Road for $400,000.

The settlement comes after many years of legal wrangling between the city and the proposed developers of the strip club. This is also the second settlement that has come along with this particular case.

In 2010, the city entered into an agreement with the late Terry Stephenson after he sued the city for violating his Constitutional rights to “exotic speech.” As part of that agreement, the city forced the club’s operators to move from their Mountain Drive location to an area in the city’s industrial zoning district.

At the time, city leaders more than likely never imagined the developers would purchase property directly across the street from a residential neighborhood, but that’s exactly what occurred.

Red Brick Construction LLC, which is affiliated with Trident Operations, purchased the property for $360,000 in 2011. They are set to make a $40,000 profit based on terms of the settlement.

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