As the lawsuit between the owner of the Hogs and Heifers Saloon and Downton Grand continues, more testimony is revealed. This time, it comes from the Hogs & Heifers owner in a Clark County Courtroom. The owner, Michelle Dell, told the court that the Downtown Grand has been planning to shut her business down for a long time. The main reason was to allegedly copy the saloon’s concept and make it their own.
According to reports from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Dell went to court and testified that before the casino opened its door, she had an opportunity to see the plans in 2012. She was privy to the plans given that the casino owner is her neighbour and landlord. Upon inspecting the plans, Dell said that she saw the plans including a design for a bar on the property called “Urban Cowboy”. It was accompanied by a design board that sounded and looked very similar to her outlaw-country bar situated across the street. In her testimony, Dell said that she was immediately alert and knew that the casino was trying to get rid of her and her establishment. To replace what she had, the casino was going to put up a commercialized version of what she had already established.
In 2019, Hogs & Heifers sued the landlord at Downtown Grand. The establishment accused the casino and its owner of violating the lease agreement, by refusing the saloon access to the common area outside the two properties. The saloon has been using the common area ever since it opened its doors in 2005. The area was the prime location for the saloon to host festivals and charity events which served as cultural revitalization for the area downtown. The previous space used for entertainment and charitable work was subsequently closed off and used exclusively for Downtown Gran’s valet parking.
Furthermore, the lawsuit filed by Dell stated that the casino was leveraging its power over the property to illegally evict her and her establishment. She also stated that she was seeking damages for the revenue lost due to the inability to make use of the common area. Dell signed a 20-year lease for the property and that was done 16 years ago. At the time, her landlord was the Lady Luck casino which closed its doors for refurbishment a year after the lease was signed. During that time the property was sold and acquired by the investment company CIM. In 2013, the new owners of the land reopened the casino’s doors, this time as the Downtown Grand.
The casino and its owners did not take the lawsuit likely and subsequently countersued Hogs & Heifers. The landlord stated that the tenant, Hogs & Heifers, needed to get approval from the landlord to use the common area. The use of the area in 2019, when the saloon held a St. Patrick’s Day event, was a clear violation of the terms of the agreement, the lawsuit claimed. The casino’s lawsuit went on to say that it blames Hogs & Heifers for antisocial behavior, including unruly fights outside the two properties, which makes Downtown Grand the actual aggrieved party in the matter. To conclude, the landlord’s lawsuit further states that the tenant continues to work against the landlord instead of cooperating and abiding by the terms of the lease. Claims from the lawsuit also state that the saloon consistently creates an unsafe environment outside the two properties that the landlord can no longer tolerate.