FORT PIERRE — Despite some recent scathing internet comments directed at the establishment, most residents don’t want to see the Hop Scotch Club dancers out of work.
Following an alleged shooting incident at the club two weeks ago, the Capital Journal Web site was abuzz with comments on both sides of the argument.
Those calling for the club to be shut down blamed the Hop Scotch for the alleged attempted murder.
The Rev. Brian Christensen, the priest at St. John’s Catholic Church in Fort Pierre, isn’t certain that the establishment should be closed down, but finds the club’s entertainment distasteful, he said.
“I think it’s demeaning toward women,” Christensen said. “It’s one thing to socialize and get together with friends; it’s another thing to exploit people for your own enjoyment.”
Despite his feelings about the club, Christensen doesn’t believe the Hop Scotch was responsible for the shooting incident, he said.
“From what it sounds like, it was kind of a personal incident, a relationship that’s gone bad,” Christensen said. “I don’t think it has necessarily anything to do with the Hop Scotch itself.”
Don Abrahamson, manager of the club, expressed similar sentiments.
“If the shooting hadn’t occurred here, it would have happened somewhere else,” he said. “The entertainment is controversial and some people just aren’t going to care for it.”
The talk on the Web site seems to be just that — talk. The city has not received any calls regarding the club, Mayor Sam Tidball said.
Neither has the Fort Pierre Development Corporation, said executive director Dave Bonde.
In fact a number of residents support the club.
“It brings money into the local economy,” Fort Pierre resident Hunter Stoeser said. “It’s not a big deal. I don’t think they’ll ever shut that place down.”
The club is also a landmark for visitors to the area, according to George Loprenzi from Aberdeen.
“I personally don’t go, but I think it’s very popular among the guys who come here for hunting and fishing,” Loprenzi said. “It’s sort of a male-bonding ritual.”