Saturday night fever: Rum Bay closes

Nightspot could reopen eventually if another owner takes over license

RUM BAY, the nightspot at North Avenue and Interstate 70 Business Loop that was almost closed this past summer because of fighting and drunken driving arrests, is now closed indefinitely after undercover liquor enforcement officers videotaped what they allege were lewd acts between patrons and entertainers.

Patrons at Rum Bay on Saturday night partied like there was no tomorrow, but that might have been because it was true.

The popular night club at 2993 North Ave. was already under the scrutiny of Mesa County officials for past offenses when allegations arose late last month that patrons and one of the club’s owners performed simulated sexual acts with members of a traveling troupe, violating state liquor law.

Mesa County officials and the bar’s owners, Greg Rohlman and Bill Logsdon, agreed in writing Friday to suspend the bar’s liquor license. They had agreed to formally close the bar 6 p.m. Thursday, Mesa County Administrator Jon Peacock said.

Rohoman and Logsdown, however, decided Saturday night would be the last night.

“They always say it’s going to be the last night,” said one woman entering the bar Saturday night. “It’s the best music place.”

Security guard Garrett Cobb, who goes by Beetle, said the bar’s closure will cause havoc around town, as patrons who would rather hear hip-hop music flood into another area dance club, Cactus Canyon, which features country music.

“You can’t turn those type of people into a country bar and not expect there to be fights and intoxication,” he said.

Cobb said early Saturday night he expected a crowd of up to 450 people at Rum Bay. Many who had heard of the closure stopped in to wish staff workers well.

But that might not mean the club known for its thumping music, themed-parties, discounted drinks and sometimes risque visiting entertainers, will be shuttered for long.

Owners of Rum Bay, who placed the bar up for sale previously, have until April to transfer the liquor license to new owners, provided the new owners have no marks against their own liquor-licensing records. That stipulation could hasten the bar’s reopening, Peacock said.

Undercover agents from the state’s Liquor Enforcement Division recently videotaped patrons performing “lewd” acts with members of “Hollywood Knockouts,” a traveling strip and oil wrestling troupe. The video, which shows the sexual acts in “face-blushing detail,” violated seven conditions of the state’s liquor law, Peacock said.

“The video, I did unfortunately have to review ... I felt that it was certainly significant enough to issue a complaint,” he said.

Rum Bay’s closure comes on the heels of a controversial second-chance stay the bar received from the county months earlier. Last summer, Rum Bay’s liquor license was nearly pulled after commissioners determined police were responding too often to bar fights and reports of revelers driving away drunk.

The bar was allowed to stay open after owners agreed on June 30 to provide sheriffs’ deputies with good-quality security video, offer alcohol training for all employees and complete background checks on potential new hires.

The Mesa County Commission is slated to review the latest agreement during its Oct. 27 meeting, Peacock said, but the signed documents mean the bar’s closure is official.

“It is certainly our hope that anyone coming in, knowing the steps the county is going to take, would operate the establishment more responsibly,” Peacock said.


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