The sale of the Outland Complex in downtown Springfield is off after the current owners backed out of the deal following negative social media backlash related to an employee of the new owner.
According to a social media post by Outland’s owner Jimmy Kochs, the deal has been canceled.
The move comes after social media outcry following the announcement the Outland complex was being sold and turned into the “2Hotties Entertainment Complex.” The changes would have included a sports bar and a cowboy bar.
An employee of the potential new owner, Blake Young a.k.a. Yola Montana, was found to have made racist social media postings including calling black people “subhuman.” Screenshots of the comments began circulating on social media within hours of the announcement of the deal.
A petition was started on change.org titled “A Pledge to Not Support 2 Hotties Entertainment Complex” received over 3,500 signatures. The petition said that the racist and degrading language used by Young/Montana “do not stand up to the moral benchmark of what we want our downtown to be.”
“Our downtown should promote public establishments that will embrace community cohesion, and the owners remarks on social media shows that this will not be a priority for their business,” the petition read. “Springfield has come so far for inclusion, and we should be promoting a downtown that is safe for all.”
Outland owner Jimmy Kochs posted on Facebook about the move, saying that it broke his heart seeing so many people upset.
“With all the info that was popping up, I just had to make that call that felt right in my heart,” Kochs posted.
A GoFundMe campaign that has been running to help save the Outland complex during the lockdown has seen significant support in the last day. Anyone interested in helping the Outland can visit that fundraising page.
(Headline photo courtesy Outland Complex.)