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Airport Steaming Over Strip Club Neighbor

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - One of the busiest airports in the world will soon be a neighbor to an upscale gentlemen's club, but some prominent North Texans are trying to shut it down before it even opens.

A new Rick's Cabaret is about to open near the South entrance to DFW International Airport.

Thursday the DFW Airport board of directors met in a closed meeting and members officially agreed to join American Airlines and others on the list of club protesters.

The problem for many is that the club will be one of the first things you'll see going to or from the airport.

Rick's Cabaret is expected to open its doors in a few weeks.  Owners say their place is going to make the airport 'sexier'. But for travelers at DFW Airport, the 'naked truth' has yet to be seen.

The new strip club has a liquor license application pending with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC).

Prominent Tarrant County leaders, including County Judge Glen Whitley, are protesting the permit.

"It's a bad business to have in the area," says Whitley, who is among the growing group of dissidents, including Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief and American Airlines.

Moncrief admits stopping Rick's Cabaret from operating will be a big challenge. "I understand they have their rights, we have ours. I have already indicated, by correspondence, my disappointment and opposition to this location," he said. "I'm not real happy about our, our flights coming in here and looking down on that signage and that kind of operation. Whether or not we can stop it remains to be seen."

The club will be located between the airport and American's corporate headquarters.

In a statement, American says the establishment poses a danger to employees and airport passengers.

"It's not something that you want to see in your area in your neighborhood certainly don't want to see it at the entrance to DFW," says Whitley.

Concerns over the club include that having a liquor license will cause a spike in alcohol-related crimes and traffic accidents.

However, the TABC issued a letter saying it has investigated and has found little evidence that liquor sales at the strip club will be a danger or nuisance to the area.

"Anytime you have people over-served alcoholic beverages, regardless of where they are, it will pose a traffic and safety issue," explained TABC Captain Charlie Cloud.

Cloud says if Rick's Cabaret doesn't get a liquor license, then the establishment could go 'BYOB' and allow dancers to be totally nude.  "Now you got people bringing in their 24-pack, they are sitting there guzzling their 24-pack then they are getting in their car and driving, there is no controls."

Eric Langan, the president of Rick's Cabaret, says  he doesn't understand why there's opposition now.  He says the city of Fort Worth approved all their plans and they will be opening on January 20.   If they don't get a liquor license in time, then it will be BYOB.

A protest hearing concerning the license will be held next month at Fort Worth City Hall.

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