Naked parties expose awkward moment for Iron Range city

Wonder Sauna Hot Pants. A working solution to end naked parties on the Iron Range?

Wonder Sauna Hot Pants. A working solution to end naked parties on the Iron Range?

This morning the city public safety committee met in Virginia, Minnesota. On the agenda: naked parties. Specifically, what can be done about naked parties held in city limits? (Spoiler: It’s not clear).

The issue stemmed from an awkward exchange at last week’s city council meeting. If you’re looking for a little light office cubicle viewing, by all means advance to 24:15 on this recording of the meeting. Bill Hanna wrote about the skinny dipping discussion in Sunday’s Mesabi Daily News.

A downtown church pastor and public access cameraman raised the matter of a recent “SpookTacular” “Sexy Halloween Bash” held at the Coates Hotel Oct. 23-24, in which a “clothing optional” pool party was part of the deal. The event was apparently organized by a clothing-optional campground based in Sandstone, Minnesota. All of this was new information to me, and apparently the whole city council.

A wide ranging conversation of rumored sex parties and related shenanigans ensued. For a brief, beautiful moment an entire city was paralyzed with fear that someone would say something stupid, offensive, or indicative of support for “swingers.” It was like watching a parson cut through a dense crowd of beach volleyball players. Rhetorically speaking, of course.

Coates Hotel staff say they do not discriminate when it comes to renting out space, and they comply with state law and ordinances. The council may revisit this issue, though it’s hard to say exactly what they could do. Everyone on the tape seemed pretty concerned that this would “go public” and attract all kinds of attention.

Naked sex parties have a tendency to do that. No ifs, ands or butts about it.

UPDATE: According to the Mesabi Daily News, the committee voted to have the city police department investigate whether there were any complaints or problems surrounding the nude parties. The police chief did not know of any incidents or complaints, nor had Advocates for Family Peace encountered any case evidence of assaults. The council could take action through zoning laws, but it seems unlikely. Humorously, one of the city councilors thought that they should try to take down the group’s website, which features some nudity. It was explained that there is a lot of nudity on the internet.


  1. There’s something endearing about a paper that puts a recipe for chicken in the opinion section .

  2. Gus Grimly says

    This better wind up on FARGO next season.

  3. That could be a “cool ” opening (15 second season teaser, more like) – fade in going through boughs to the almost-pastoral sauna in a clearing , then muffled gunshots and people running out screaming .

  4. Laura Jones says

    Virginia has mountains of real problems without some coalition for decency trying to return us to the 1950s. We have massive unemployment, huge problems with substance abuse and a mayor that encourages the release of mentally ill and other challenged populations into the Iron Range without adequate services. Over the Newsette Store is an insane Meth hotel where business owners have watched drug transactions take place all day long out front. Calling the cops does no good. They seem to be clueless to real policing. But everybody is in an uproar over a professionally run event that brings apx 100,000$ to our community because people are in their birthday suits in a well established business that is careful to keep the event private and secure. I think we need some priorities here. Some lady complained about the school being 2 blocks away. but the parties are indoors over the weekend when not even the library in this town cares to be open for it’s citizens and NO private parts can be seen from the street, but does not seem to care her kids are walking thru drug deal central in the daylight weekday hours like a ghetto!!!

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