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Sex superstore Fascinations arouses neighbors’ anger

Colrado Springs – from www.gazette.com – Rita Dennis finds it fascinating that a liquor store must survey the neighborhood before it can get a license to open, but a sex superstore can simply rent a space, stock the shelves with oils, lingerie and adult toys and throw open its doors to the public.

Actually, Dennis finds it disturbing. She is so upset she is becoming a neighborhood activist and trying to stop the opening of the sex shop, Fascinations.

“We don’t want this in our community,” Dennis said of the new “strip” mall store near Academy and Dublin boulevards in north-central Colorado Springs.

“I’m fuming,” she said. “I feel so helpless. I’ll bet the majority of people in the neighborhood have no idea this place is going to open in a few days. I’m hoping others will be as angry about this as I am.”

Fascinations expects to open its 17th store on Saturday in a 5,500-square-foot space last occupied by Hollywood Video, said Michael Ham, a spokesman for the chain, which started in 1981 in Tucson, Ariz.

Unlike the previous tenant, Fascinations will not rent sexy videos.

“That location is mainly intimate apparel, lotions and oils,” Ham said. “Very little retail space is dedicated to what would be considered adult product. There will be no video rentals and no magazines at that location.”

But there will be lots of other sexy stuff. And Dennis said it’s inappropriate in her neighborhood.

“I’m so frustrated,” she said. “This adult store is right around the corner from a family food store. Kids play soccer in Erindale Park a few blocks away. There is a ton of residential homes nearby. Lots of kids.

“I don’t see this store relating to our environment.”

Ham said kids will not be corrupted by anything in Fascinations because they will not be allowed inside.

“We have a stringent I.D. policy,” Ham said. “We require folks to be 18 or older to enter the store.”

And he stressed Fascinations is no XXX-rated, smut-selling porn place. It’s a modern, bright store designed to appeal to women.

Not dirty old men.

“We cater specifically to women and couples,” Ham said. “We don’t have any on-site entertainment. No booths or peep shows.”

Fascinations, he said, will not “subvert community standards.”

I was curious why Fascinations opted to locate in Colorado Springs.

I can understand its four stores in the Denver area and another in Boulder.

But why here, in Conservative Springs? With our reputation as the evangelical Christian Vatican? Not far from Focus on the Family?

“We looked at the number of people driving from Colorado Springs to visit our Denver stores,” Ham said. “We want to save those people a trip to Denver.”

Dennis would prefer to keep them on the interstate.

“There is a time when one person can make a difference,” Dennis said. “I hope this is one of those times.”

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