Club Trashed Building Before Moving Out

Club Trashed Building Before Moving Out

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Karen Scullin ReportingThe Zephyr Club lost its lease at its West Temple and 3rd south location after 21 years. Its final night was Halloween and what was left behind has building owners furious.

Peeking in the windows you can see the graffiti, the holes in the walls, the mess. But Zephyr Club owners say it's really not that bad and rehab plans would have wiped it out anyway. Is it signs of a huge Halloween party or signs of all out revenge?

Tony Rampton, Building Owners' Attorney: “Maybe he was angry, but there's no excuse that certainly can't justify what he did."

Rampton’s clients Steven Bamberger and David Bernolfo say the place is trashed ---walls destroyed, hateful messages and other graffiti everywhere.

Tony Rampton:” We found several broken baseball bats. And it appears they had taken the bats against the walls."

But Zephyr Club owner Otto Mileti says it's really not that bad.

Otto Mileti, Zephyr Club Owner: “We didn't really trash the place, it ended up looking trashed because we didn't get any extra time to move out. We basically had between 1:30, 2:00 in the morning ‘til 8:00 in the morning to get everything out."

Mileti says all they had time to do was move out the sound equipment and the building owners refused to allow them the day to bring in a cleaning crew. But Mileti says the landlord, the architect, and the contractor all told him the inside was going to be gutted anyway.

Otto Mileti: “I don't understand what the big deal is if the walls are coming down anyway?"

Tony Rampton: “Anybody involved with those premises knows that the intention of the owners was not to tear it down."

So what led to the mess? While the band "Slightly Stoopid" was playing, was someone encouraging the destruction? Mileti does admit to hiring graffiti artists to "decorate."

Otto Mileti: “No we did not encourage it at all, nor did any of our employees encourage any demolition. It just part of it happened throughout the night."

Rampton says they will pursue civil action; damages are estimated between fifty and one hundred thousand dollars.

The Zephyr Club does have plans to move to the United Electric building, though it will be several months before doors open.

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