(Michael Chamberlain/Nevada Business Coalition) – Dear Commissioners,
In the great tradition of American innovation and ingenuity, a decade-and-a-half ago Craig Estey hit upon an idea – a new kind of tavern. As he set about gaining the required approvals, regulators expressed skepticism, not of its legality but of its prospects for success.
Despite the doubters and through the worst recession in memory, Dotty’s has been successful. The company has dozens of locations in the Las Vegas valley and many more throughout the state. It has been a bright light in dark times, expanding even through the tough economy. They have taken over the shuttered sites of other taverns, and succeeded where others have failed.
Now, unable to produce their own model to compete with Dotty’s and threatened by the company’s success, wealthy and powerful interests are trying another tactic – using their political muscle to crush the competition.
Corporate giants of the gaming industry are urging commissioners to reinterpret and change the law to prevent the company from opening new locations. They are asking the County Commission to rule that the concept that has been perfectly acceptable for the last 15 years should suddenly be made illegal.
Dotty’s has complied with all of the laws, all of the regulations and all of the ordinances. Its only transgression has been offering a superior business model and better customer satisfaction than some of its larger competitors.
Make no mistake; this is not about Dotty’s. This is about every small business that hopes to some day compete with a large, politically-connected corporation. In this economic climate where Clark County leads the nation in unemployment, do we really want to send the message to small businesses thinking of setting up shop in the Las Vegas area that if they grow and become a perceived threat to large companies the government will step in and slow them down?
Business success should be dependent upon planning and hard work and customer satisfaction, not political connections. We, the undersigned members of the Nevada Business Coalition, urge the Clark County Commission to support the “little guy” and reject the proposed changes to the tavern ordinances.
(Michael Chamberlain is Executive Director of Nevada Business Coalition.)