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September 22, 2014

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Crazy Horse Too rides again after judge reins in past ruling

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Mike Galam

Crazy Horse Too

All this craziness has turned into some serious business, as a pair of Las Vegas strip clubs have tussled for months over the application of the word “crazy.”

The latest, but maybe not last, battle has been won by Mike Galam, owner of the famous/infamous Crazy Horse Too on Industrial Road at the I-15 on-ramp. Galam has won a court ruling allowing him to return the business to its original name — which happens to be Crazy Horse Too.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge James C. Mahan ruled that Galam could use the name for his business. Since its opening last May, the club had been called, simply, The Horse.

“I took the old sign down last night and put the new one up,” Galam said in a phone conversation today. “We are rocking and rolling.”

In an e-mailed statement, a representative speaking on behalf of Crazy Horse III said: “We have worked hard for nearly five years to build Crazy Horse III into one of the top gentlemen’s clubs in Las Vegas. To allow a foreign group of investors with no ties to this community, that simply bought the old Crazy Horse Too real estate to try to revive a business with the Crazy Horse name is unfair to our business.

"That location has been dead for several years, so by using our name they are capitalizing on a brand we have built. Plus, it is confusing to our guests -– especially those visiting Las Vegas.”

Mahan’s ruling reversed his own decision from May, which banned Galam from using the Crazy Horse Too name after Galam was hit with a complaint from the owners of Crazy Horse III. Those operators claimed a victory in court in May when Mahan sided with them after hearing arguments that the operators were concerned over brand confusion between Crazy Horse Too and Crazy Horse III.

Crazy Horse Too opened in 1984 and Crazy Horse III in 2009. The latter establishment’s opening coincided with a period in which Crazy Horse Too was not in operation, having been closed in 2006 as federal agents ordered former proprietor Rick Rizzolo off the property after pleading guilty to tax-evasion charges.

The owner of Bare Elegance Gentlemen's Club near Los Angeles International Airport and another Bare Elegance in the San Fernando Valley, Galam snapped up the property in the months leading up to its grand reopening last May. But his efforts to restamp the Crazy Horse Too name on the property, which still has its recognizable, pillared designs on its exterior sign, had been thwarted by Crazy Horse III.

The lengthy legal back-and-forth was rife with barbed comments (at least from Galam) and high stakes dating back to last spring.

“We were forced into a legal fight that we didn’t want to have,” Galam said in a statement issued today. “Prevailing from the truths that we own the name and the intellectual property, all we can do now is move forward while we do everything in our power to prevent anyone else from ever using our name. And that is exactly what I plan to do.”

Galam has threatened to continue the fight in court, claiming extensive financial outlays for legal fees and updating his advertising and marketing to reflect changes from Crazy Horse Too to The Horse, and back again.

Asked today if continuing the legal battle was worth additional energy and resources, Galam said, “I’ll be glad to walk away, for $1 million, because that’s what this has cost me.”

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

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