The owner of a local inflatable amusement company whose license was suspended by the city says the penalty will likely run him out of business.
"There's no way I can ever recover," said Duane Zogleman, owner of Moonwalks For Fun Inc.
"My family just wanted to do something nice for the community.... Now that's all gone."
On Tuesday the City Council suspended the license for Moonwalks For Fun, which owns equipment operated by Pure Entertainment. Now the business plans to host a series of teen dance parties, or "raves," but that could prove problematic as well:
Pure Entertainment, near Kellogg and Tyler, is not licensed as a teen club or entertainment establishment.
"It's a whole other animal if he wants to start having teen dances," said Deputy Police Chief Tom Stolz. "We'll work with him on that, but as of right now" Zogleman isn't licensed, Stolz said.
The company's website and e-mail alerts point to a May 28 rave for 13- to 19-year-olds that will feature black lights, a laser show, a fog machine and concessions. Admission is $12 in advance, $15 at the door.
Jesse Zogleman, Duane Zogleman's son and the manager of Pure Entertainment, could not be reached for comment Thursday. Duane Zogleman said he wasn't aware of the raves and didn't know if tickets had been sold.
A city ordinance requires anyone operating a teen club to be licensed, have a security plan, check photo identification and close at 12:30 a.m. Teen clubs also must ensure that no one over 21 years old, besides parents and employees, can enter. The licensing fee is $400 a year.
Pure Entertainment currently is licensed only as a drinking establishment, which means it can host weddings and other private events. The 20,000-square-foot building includes Duane'z Lounge, which serves food as well as alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages.
Earlier this week, the City Council suspended Duane Zogleman's portable-amusement license for 90 days, saying he violated a city ordinance by not having his rides properly inspected.
Police discovered the violations while investigating the death of 5-year-old Matthew Branham, who suffered a fatal fall at Pure Entertainment on March 22.
On Thursday, Zogleman accused city officials of ignoring license violations by other local companies, including Pump It Up, one of the area's oldest inflatable playgrounds.
"They (city officials) decided to beat me into the ground, and they're letting everyone else have a free ride," Zogleman said. "Where's the justice?"
An Eagle investigation last month revealed that a Pump It Up franchise at 6803 W. Taft had been operating without a license since May 2009.
Haley Thompson, manager of the facility, said the license wasn't issued last May because of an unpaid late fee. Pump It Up is insured and its inflatables were inspected, she said, and the business recently was issued a new license. Neither police nor city inspectors cited her for operating without a license last year, Thompson said.
Duane Zogleman said the oversight illustrates inconsistencies in the city's enforcement of ride licenses.
"I'm being discriminated against because of the accident," he said. "Are they coming down on anyone else? No.... I just really resent the whole way the thing was handled."