Will Wapato have the first strip clubs in the valley?

Will Wapato have the first strip clubs in the valley?
WAPATO, Wash. -- Strip Clubs have been a hot topic in the area for months. This week, Wapato City Council gave them the green light.

Now, interested customers might not have to drive to Spokane or Umatilla to get a show.

Ignacio Martinez owns Martinez Sports Bar. With the council's blessing, he plans to expand his business into adult entertainment.

"Very good idea for the whole town so we can bring a lot more people to this town," Ignacio said. "I'm very happy to do that."

Ignacio says he thinks the strip clubs will put Wapato on the map, hoping it will draw customers from Yakima and the Lower Valley. He doesn't think it will increase violence or drunkenness.

He says if approved, he would like to have nude dancers at his current bar in Wapato, but also has plans for a new location.

However, not everyone in town thinks strip clubs are a good idea.

I spoke to other bar owners who say they think it will attract more trouble in a town known for alcohol problems. Neighbors I spoke to also have mixed opinions.

"It will be causing a lot of problems and we got enough bars here. We don't need no strip bar here," Vanessa Yalup said.

"We don't have too many places where to go to dance and drink. We have some bars right here, but not too many," Joel Marquez said.

The new city ordinances require adult businesses to be a certain distance from schools and churches. The businesses are also required to buy a special license.

Ignacio says he will follow those laws and hopes good customer service will bring patrons to Wapato.

"We treat the people very good and people are happy," Ignacio said.