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December 20, 2014

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Crazy Horse III halts use of name Crazy Horse Too, but rival club is opening anyway

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John Katsilometes

The famous Crazy Horse Too exterior as photographed in May 2013.

This case is crazy, except where it isn’t.

Today a judge in Las Vegas ruled that the club once known as Crazy Horse Too is not legally authorized to use that famous name. The club’s new operator, Mike Galam, swiftly sent word that the club would open Thursday night anyway as originally planned.

But what's it to be called? Check back Thursday night is the best answer at the moment.

Galam initially said he wanted to use the name Horse Too and used that name today when applying for a one-year liquor license at the business. But by nightfall he had decided on another name in the on-deck circle: Crazy Mike's, and that's how the club is to be titled upon its relaunch.

All of the billboards, artwork and promotional material are being changed, Galam said today in a text message. That much seems certain.

The adult nightspot’s grand opening is still planned for June 1, as workers play beat-the-clock with construction upgrades to the space on Industrial Road at Interstate 15 that have topped out at about $500,000. Crazy Horse Too has been shut and locked since September 2006, when then-club chieftain Rick Rizzolo pleaded guilty to tax-evasion charges.

The club often referred to as “The Deuce” also was the site of an incident in which tourist Kirk Henry was grappled by a member of Rizzolo’s security team and suffered a broken neck. Rendered a quadriplegic, Henry sued Rizzolo and was awarded $10 million as part of Rizzolo’s tax-evasion plea agreement. Henry has not been paid.

Today’s ruling by U.S. District Court Judge James C. Mahan is a legal victory by officials representing rival gentlemen’s club Crazy Horse III. That club has been in operation since 2009, and its operators were concerned over brand confusion prompted by the announced reopening of another gentlemen’s club with “Crazy Horse” as its title. Mahan ruled that Galam and his Canico Capital Group, the company that now owns Horse Too, acquired only the real property rights and the actual property on which the old club sits.

The judge’s ruling is that Galam’s group did not acquire the trademark Crazy Horse Too and sided with Crazy Horse III that the revival of the old name would create confusion in the marketplace that could be damaging to Crazy Horse III’s business.

In a statement, Crazy Horse III attorney Puoy Premsrirut said it is the court’s ruling that Galam “can reopen, promote and market their opening. They simply cannot use the Crazy Horse name to do so. We feel this is a fair and equitable result supported by the law and the actual transaction documents that the defendants relied upon.”

Galam also owns Bare Elegance Gentlemen's Club near Los Angeles International Airport and another Bare Elegance in the San Fernando Valley. He said that he planned to appeal the judge’s ruling and also reported that a fire broke out at his headquarters in Los Angeles (he says as the result of a firebomb).

Galam’s staff is cleaning that mess now, hauling out computers, equipment and furniture. Meantime, the club kingpin is putting out his own fire right here in Las Vegas.

Follow John Katsilometes on Twitter at Twitter.com/JohnnyKats. Also, follow “Kats With the Dish” at Twitter.com/KatsWiththeDish.

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