from www.guampdm.com – A measure that would banish strip clubs and other adult entertainment businesses from Tumon’s Hotel Row was introduced by Vice Speaker Benjamin Cruz [pictured] yesterday.
Bill 314 would require such establishments be operated only in areas zoned for light and heavy industrial uses, or M1 and M2 zones, respectively. If enacted into law, the measure would allow existing businesses up to five years to continue operations in Tumon or any area in M1 or M2 zones.
The Guam Visitors Bureau, Guam Hotel and Restaurant Association and the Japan Guam Travel Association urged the senator last year to propose the bill because of “growing concerns over obscene signage and aggressive street-marketing tactics of the adult oriented businesses,” said Cruz, who is chairman of the legislative Committee on Tourism.
“I was initially apprehensive about introducing this bill when it was first brought to my committee’s attention,” Cruz. “But after review of the military buildup (draft Environmental Impact Statement) and four DEIS meetings, it became clear that the San Vitores Road area must be protected for both our local families and for the visitors that come here to enjoy the family destination Guam is purported to be.”
In their letter to Cruz, officials from three tourism groups said the “offensive” signs advertising certain adult entertainment continues to be “a blight to the area and a major detraction from the wholesome family friendly destination we advertise Guam to be.”
The tourism officials also said the proliferation of these activities undermines the rebranding initiative, “We are Guam,” that is supposed to highlight the island’s pride in its people and its cultural and historical attractions.
“Left unchecked, Guam’s image as a wholesome leisure resort destination will lose its appeal in our major markets and put added pressure on sustaining the long-term viability of our tourism economy,” Guam Visitors Bureau stated in its letter.
There are about 55 adult entertainment establishments operating along or just off of San Vitores Road, including strip joints, massage parlors and adult video stores, according to Cruz’s office.