LAS VEGAS (CN) – A Chinese-American businessman accuses Nye County officials of racism after his plans to build an Asian-themed, master-planned resort were killed.
Jerry Wang has been trying for 16 years to build an “Oasis at Shangri-La” in Pahrump, the town most famous for being the closest place to Las Vegas where prostitution is legal. Wang cited the “Pahrump English Language and Patriot Reaffirmation Ordinance” in his federal lawsuit.
Wang’s project was stalled due to continuing highway repairs bounding the property.
Wang says county officials killed his plans this year when the Nye County Board of County Commissioners terminated his “Subdivision Improvement Agreement,” despite his $50,000 investment and countless hours making preparations to begin construction.
Wang noted in his lawsuit that in 2006, the Pahrump Town Board passed the “Pahrump English Language and Patriot Reaffirmation Ordinance,” which declared English to be the official language of Pahrump.
The ordinance requires that all business be conducted in English, and made it illegal to fly a foreign flag by itself.
The law was repealed in February 2007, but its passage “underscored a culture of racial discrimination flourishing in Nye County’s local government divisions and agencies,” the lawsuit states.
Wang also complains that after he asked Pahrump Town Board member Lauraynne Murry to sponsor a proposal to resuscitate the project at an upcoming meeting, she told him he’d have to “have someone speak for him as she could not understand him.”
Wang is fluent in English, but speaks with an accent. He is represented by Duane Frizell with Bolick Boyer.