Visions nightclub to appeal suspension of alcohol permit

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Visions Entertainment (WGHP)

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Both city and state officials have taken steps recently against a Greensboro nightclub that has been cited multiple times in the past nine months for overcrowding.

On Tuesday, the N.C. Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission suspended Visions Entertainment Complex’s alcohol license.

Visions nightclub is located at 4927 W. Market St., in the FantaCity International Shopping Center.

Last week, the City Council voted 9-0 to approve an amended ordinance that classifies as a legal nuisance any club that is repeatedly found to exceed its maximum legal occupancy.

Visions’ attorney Glenn Lassiter says the club has not been over capacity and shouldn’t have its alcohol license suspended. He told the News & Record he is in the process of filing an appeal of the ABC Commission’s ruling.

Police say they have responded to 79 calls at Visions from Sept. 1, 2013, to Aug. 18, 2014, including burglary alarms, stabbings and gunshots, suspicious vehicles, assaults, disorderly people, alcohol violations and car wrecks.

Since Nov. 3, 2013, fire marshals have cited the club four times for overcrowding. When a business is cited for overcrowding, it is fined $100 for every person over capacity.

In one instance, a count showed 1,788 people in the building that had a maximum of 860. Another instance, according to a report, stated club employees turned off two fire alarms while the club was open. When officials arrived, the club was about 500 people over capacity.

Because of overcrowding at the nightclub, Visions Entertainment Complex owes the city of Greensboro about $300,000 in fines, according to city officials.

The nightclub can file a petition for a contested case hearing within 60 days. Lassiter said he was working to file a petition that would include asking for a stay in the suspension of the ABC license until a judge could rule.

Officials said it was uncertain if Visions club would remain open without its ABC license.

Under the city ordinance, any owners or sub tenants can be deemed a nuisance if they have: Two instances of overcrowding by 10 percent, while they also have a fire code violation, such as defective fire equipment or locked or blocked exits.

The City Council can ask a judge to shut down clubs that are deemed legal nuisances for a period of 24 hours to 10 days.

Source: News & Record