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The flier was also faxed to local media outlets, including CBS4. On January 26, the station ran a report by Brian Maass. Seifert had let the reporter interview him in the club's office but would not allow cameras in the main club area; attorneys from the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, a lobbying group, had advised him to stay as bland and calm as possible when answering questions. Maass also interviewed neighbors who said they worried that Scarlet Ranch might project a bad image of the area. But since this part of Broadway also holds several gay bars and sex stores, that point fell flat. The biggest news wasn't news at all to anyone in the lifestyle: The sex club was legal.
Seifert says the story had little effect on business. "The problem with too much publicity is then you get the wrong people coming into your group," he notes. "If they're coming for sex, it doesn't work. It's too expensive, and they might as well go to some club where they can pick up girls. Publicity in the swing world is difficult, because then you get the single guys or the guy with the hooker trying to come in."
Seifert thought the flier sounded like the e-mail that Ewing and Regan had sent Sindicate members the same day, saying the Scarlet Ranch owner was the reason their New Year's Eve party was shut down. Seifert denies ever calling anyone in the city about Sindicate.
"I think when he pissed off our membership by having our events closed down," Seifert says of Ewing, "or him and his friends and so forth, it pissed off some of our core membership. These people are pretty loyal. And I think he blames that on me. And we tried to talk and say, 'If these things happen, our people are going to be displeased.' But it's never been in my nature to spend so much time against somebody. Every time he tried to battle us, we just worked harder to build this up."
Scottie Ewing says he's working hard to build his business, too, and insists he's never pulled a dirty trick on Seifert. In fact, he says, he's been trying to keep the peace between the swingers clubs, even as he starts a new venture.
A former boat-repair shop in the rough-hewn Valverde neighborhood doesn't seem like an obvious place to put a restaurant/ nightclub. But this two-story brick building at 1395 West Alameda Avenue, surrounded by warehouses and a used-car lot, is where Ewing and Regan envision creating The Loft. After purchasing the structure in April, Ewing secured financial backing from individuals in the oil business and other "people who believe in us," he says. Originally, their use-permit application described a spot with dancing and food on the first floor and a five-room hotel and banquet center on the second. After consulting with their attorney, though, they decided to drop the hotel and focus on the club. Not a swingers club, they insist (although they'll continue to promote off-premise swingers parties through 4Play), but a venue for parties and events that promote their online dating service, Friday Night Flirts.
They've applied for a liquor license, with a hearing set for August 9.
Lady Suzanne hopes that Ewing's new project doesn't inspire another round of hostilities. "The lifestyle struggles with the normal community as it is," she says. "So if it's fighting amongst itself, members are going to say, 'I don't want to risk being at a party and having the cops show up.' Because it's still a secret society. So numbers have dropped, because they're like, 'Well, we're just not going to risk it.' You don't want to get involved. But our members still wonder, 'What if someone decides to do something to RMCSC?' So there's a fear factor among your members."
"To me it's sad," Brandy concludes. "There are enough people to go around. The lifestyle is actually a big community. So there's enough people to go back and forth. We can just all get along and promote each other and let people choose what's right for them."