Banquet Hall in Maine Doubles as Swingers Club

(NECN: Amy Sinclair, Sanford, ME) - A banquet facility in Sanford, Maine is in hot water with town officials.

Police say there was a lot more going on there than weddings and prom parties. They say swingers went there to hook up with other couples for sex.

Great Beginnings Catering is a popular venue for wedding receptions, after proms and charity fundraisers, but, a few months back, police in Sanford started hearing about a different kind of function, one that might surprise the Knights of Columbus who used to own this building.

"We heard there was a sex club on the premises," said Sanford police chief Tom Connolly.

Police learned the parties were advertised on a swinger's lifestyle website. They registered and sent an undercover couple to a Halloween party on October 15th to check for criminal activity such as prostitution and underage drinking.

"The activities going on in the club kind of shocked them. They were especially shocked that open sex acts were being performed everywhere in the club,” said Connolly.

Now consensual sex among adults is not illegal, and police say they didn't see anything that violated criminal law. But the events taking place inside this banquet hall did violate town codes.

Specifically, the banquet hall operators, Jim and Susan Colley, were violating the fine print of their food and entertainment licensing agreements.

"The special amusement license does not permit nudity or any of the sex activity that was taking place there," said Sanford town clerk Susan Cote.

Sanford's code enforcement officer sent the Colley’s a certified letter telling them to immediately stop promoting the catering business as a swinger's club destination.

While the Colley’s did not return calls, their High street neighbors had plenty to say.

“I think it bothers you because you don't know what type of clientele is coming to the area,” said Michelle Mitropoulos of Pizza by Paras.

“I'm not interested,” said Richard Johnson, a banquet hall neighbor. “I have enough trouble with one wife. I don't need girlfriends or whatever they do."

For now, the banquet hall is still open, but any swingers who were planning on attending the advertised fetish night party here in November will have to make other plans.

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