Airport XXXpress, which was deemed a public nuisance and closed in October, could be reopening soon.
15th Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson said an order is awaiting Judge Cynthia Graham Howe’s signature that would allow Airport XXXpress Video to re-open after being closed all winter.
Airport XXXpress Video off U.S. 17 Bypass was deemed a public nuisance in October after Richardson’s office said that investigators reported lewd behavior at the adult bookstore off the bypass just south of the backgate intersection. The order said the business had to stay closed until October, but owners of the video store made strides to re-open abiding by the county’s newer adult business ordinance.
“They have brought the place up to what Judge Howe had said they should do, which is basically taking out all of the back rooms and having it open and no more holes in the walls or private viewing areas,” Richardson said. “I think they have done that or are in the process of doing that. When it is complete, they will be allowed to re-open.”
A note on the door said it was re-opening soon and it was signed by “Kelvin and staff.” Kelvin Lewis, owner of the video store at 4947 U.S. 17 Bypass South could not be reached by phone or email Monday afternoon. The sign did not indicate exactly when the store would re-open.
Richardson was on a quest in 2014 to clean up businesses, whether adult-themed or not, that were deemed nuisances due to the number of police calls at the properties. Adult-themed clubs such as Club Mansion, formerly known as Teezers; Bottoms Up; Tiffany’s Cabaret; Fantails and The Bunny Ranch were closed. In February, Levelz Bar & Grill, at 515 Ninth Avenue North in Myrtle Beach, was closed after being deemed a nuisance.
“It never was to close down their business or a particular type of business, but it was to comply with what everyone else was already doing, which was playing by the rules,” Richardson said. “Once [Airport XXXpress] tore that all out and put it back up, there’s really no reason to stay closed.”
In 2013, Horry County Council changed its zoning ordinance to restrict adult-themed businesses to one of three zoned areas in the county – highway commercial, limited industrial and heavy industrial. It also forced the businesses to be at least 1,500 feet from certain structures, such as residential properties, churches and day cares.
A conduct ordinance, also approved by Horry County Council last year, prevents adult-themed businesses from being open between midnight and 6 a.m. The ordinance sets stricter rules for businesses with viewing booths and prevents nudity.
It was unclear Monday who from the county had to approve Airport XXXpress Video’s floor plan changes before it could re-open, said Lisa Bourcier, spokeswoman for the county.
Contact JASON M. RODRIGUEZ at 626-0301 or on Twitter @TSN_JRodriguez.