Churchill’s brothel foreclosed on
FALLON – A foreclosure sale for the only operating brothel in Churchill County is Jan. 15 in front of the county courthouse.
Salt Wells Villa owner James Kopulos would only say that his attorney is negotiating with the property owners.
According to documents filed at the county recorder’s office, Kopulos did not made a $2,500 monthly payment that was due Jan. 9, 2003, and failed to pay monthly installments after that.
The outstanding principal, interest and late charges total $241,045, including foreclosure costs, attorney fees and other expenses.
Kopulos bought the property in 1996 for $250,000, according to county records.
The title was recorded at Founders Title Co. of Nevada, which was a trustee for R. Scott Rottman, represented by Reno attorney Judith A. Otto.
Otto’s assistant, Nora Holliday, said Rottman has held the note on the property since he loaned money to Kopulos in 1996 to buy the brothel and intends to pursue the sale.
Kopulos has applied for a zone change and permit on the land with a hearing scheduled before the Churchill County Planning Commission on Jan. 14, one day before the proposed sale.
He is asking that the property be rezoned to industrial and allow adult entertainment or an adult cabaret where the brothel now operates.
Churchill County Sheriff Richard Ingram said county ordinances have broad definitions of the types of activity allowed under adult entertainment. The sheriff said a permit for adult entertainment has never before been requested in the county.
If a new buyer is found for the property, it could not automatically continue as a brothel. To open a new brothel or operate an existing one, a seller would have to go through a lengthy process to obtain a license, according to District Attorney Arthur Mallory.
The possible foreclosure of Salt Wells is the latest setback in a string of problems that have plagued it in the past few months.
In October, Salt Wells was shut down for a month after the Nevada State Health Department found there was insufficient potable water to the bar area.
The business was inspected by the Churchill County Planning Department, which noted several other deficiencies to be fixed. After the repairs were done, Kopulos had trouble finding employees, including prostitutes and a bartender, to reopen.
The Salt Wells property for sale includes three mobile homes housing the bar, prostitutes’ living quarters, a kitchen and lounge area.
Salt Wells, about 15 miles east of Fallon, can employ six prostitutes. Lazy B, the other brothel in Churchill County, has been closed for years, and no active license to operate that business exists, Ingram said.