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The Belgrade News

Adult store to open near Three Forks

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Posted: Friday, October 5, 2007 12:00 am

A new adult store will open Saturday near Three Forks, the owner confirmed Thursday.

“Adam and Eve” is a franchise store featuring lingerie, adult toys, novelties and adult films, franchisee Dave Hanson said.

“We bought the Adam and Eve franchise for this area,” he said.

The store is located in Broadwater County, near the junction of Interstate 90 and U.S. Highway 287, about four miles west of Three Forks. The roughly 1,600-square-foot store is adjacent to Teasers, an all-nude strip club Hanson opened in 2002 in the former Steer In restaurant.

The two businesses are not physically connected and will operate independently, Hanson said.

Adam and Eve will carry a full line of adult products, he said, and will be more upscale than the valley’s other adult emporium, Bozeman’s Ms. Kitty’s.

“This is couple-oriented, very women- friendly,” Hanson said. “It’s bright and open — just a nice concept. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.”

Hanson made headlines in August 2002 when he opened Teasers, the area’s first strip club. The club became the focus of intense opposition and picketing by Christian groups, who charged among other things that the club would lead to a proliferation of other sexually oriented businesses (SOBs) in the area.

Teasers became a catalyst for a bill in the 2003 Legislature designed to regulate SOBs statewide. The bill, carried by Sen. Duane Grimes, R-Clancy, died in the Senate Judiciary Committee. No similar effort was presented in the 2005 or 2007 sessions, according to legislative records.

Teasers was followed a year later by a second local strip club, the Buffalo Station at Gallatin Gateway, whose opening sparked more concern among Christian groups and others about further proliferation of such businesses. A group of residents subsequently pushed for and achieved the passage of anti-SOB ordinances in Three Forks, Manhattan and Belgrade.

Then-Gallatin County Commissioner John Vincent proposed a similar ordinance countywide, but failed to convince fellow commissioners Jennifer Smith Mitchell and Bill Murdock to support such a measure.

“Mitchell and I were adamantly opposed to zoning the county just to regulate sexually oriented businesses,” Murdock said Thursday. “We could have looked at a countywide ordinance but it would have been zoning, basically. I wasn’t going to go there and neither was Mitchell.”

Adam and Eve, which bills itself as “America’s most trusted name in adult products,” is a subsidiary of Hillsborough, N.C.-based PHE, Inc., according to the company’s Web site. The retail division operates two corporate-owned stores in North Carolina, and began franchising the concept in 2005.

Fifteen Adam and Eve franchise stores have opened or will open nationwide the near future, according to the Web site. Another 25 franchises are pending. The Three Forks store is the only Adam and Eve franchise in Montana so far, and is the 14th franchise in the chain, Hanson said.

Adam and Eve was founded in 1970 as a mail-order catalog for adult products. It later moved into Internet sales and then physical stores, according to the Web site. PHE, Inc., also operates Adam and Eve Pictures, a film studio that produces XXX films and other pornography. Besides the name, references to the biblical story of creation include an apple logo and a monthly sex-industry newsletter called “Forbidden Fruit.”

According to Hanson, initial operating hours at the Three Forks store will be 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. “We’ll play with that a little bit as time goes on,” he said.

The business will employ “probably 10” people and is accepting employment applications, he added. Inquire at 285-4688.

© 2015 The Belgrade News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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