Chuck Brennan, Lifelong Exploiter of Working Class, Bad Apple in SD Tourism Barrel

Evidently that Sioux Falls paper has assigned its news staff to full-time marketing for payday usurer Chuck Brennan. Or maybe, just maybe, the clever Stu Whitney is hoisting Brennan on his own arrogant petard.

Consider the opening of Whitney’s Brennan homage, in which we are treated to Brennan’s jet-set problems:

It’s an overcast day in Sioux Falls and the millionaire founder of Dollar Loan Center is supposed to be in Brazil hanging out with KISS and Ozzy Osbourne. He learned at the Las Vegas airport that he lacked the proper travel visa, and not even a call to the Brazilian consulate could solve the problem.

Some of his staffers were flying to Sioux Falls the same day, so he grabbed the last seat.

“I went from a first-class ticket on a Dreamliner to Brazil to the last row and middle seat of an Allegiant flight to Sioux Falls,” grumbles Brennan, the 47-year-old Washington High School graduate and former concert promoter who made his fortune in payday lending and collection. “My vacation is pretty much shot” [Stu Whitney, “Can Chuck Brennan Find Satisfaction?that Sioux Falls paper, 2015.05.15].

Our sympathies go out to a man who can afford two multi-million-dollar homes but who can’t hire staff competent enough to obtain for him the right travel documents.

Whitney turns briefly to the political activism being mounted against Brennan’s exploitation of the working class from which he rose by quoting Rev. Steve Hickey, the legislator who is leading an initiative drive to cap interest rates at 36% and put Brennan’s Dollar Loan Center out of business in South Dakota. Whitney balances Hickey’s critique by stating that his and other usury opponents’ “vitriolic” words have made Brennan’s wife Mary fear for her safety and avoid coming to South Dakota. That characterization of Rev. Hickey’s words is insultingly exaggerated. I would ask Mary, Chuck, and Stu to point to any rhetoric used in the debate over the usury industry that have incited vandalism against Brennan’s loan-shark storefronts or anything close to a physical threat against Brennan or his employees. This fretting about family safety in South Dakota sounds more like the brittle defensiveness of entitled elites against the little people who would dare criticize their amoral ascent to wealth.

Whitney notes that Brennan launched his Oedipal exploitation of the poor in grade school:

The first of Chuck’s 16 career businesses positioned him as a “ticket broker” at Lincoln Elementary School, buying lunch tickets for a quarter apiece from kids who got them for free. He bought boxes of candy bars at Prairie Market and packaged those with the lunch tickets to sell to kids who brought lunch money, pulling a decent profit.

“On pizza day it was huge, because everyone wanted doubles,” says Brennan. “My dad came to school and welded my locker to put a lock on it so people couldn’t steal my stuff” [Whitney, 2015.05.15].

Brennan exploits the free lunch program (in violation of the law, I would think, as surely as buying and selling food stamps), gets poor kids to go without food for a fraction of the value of those meals, and has his dad vandalize public school property to help him get rich. We could not ask for a better example of a narcissistic drive for wealth, not only heedless of the general welfare, but willing to exploit public resources for personal gain.

Whitney then tracks Brennan’s rise and fall and rise through repo work, women’s oil wrestling (he still has the equipment), failed concert promotion, and usury. Yay, Chuck, self-made man on the objectification of other human beings.

Maybe, maybe, maybe Whitney is engaged in some subtle critique of Brennan in Brennan’s own words. Whitney’s colleague business reporter Jodi Schwan is capable of no such subtlety.

Lest anyone retain the illusion that Brennan does anything for anyone other than himself, rewind a few weeks back to Schwan’s fawning (“nice-looking pictures”… “Wow!) puff piece where she lets Brennan talk about how awesome his overgrown pawn shop will be compared to boring old South Dakota:

Badlands—we wanted it to mean something to us, and when you think of Badlands, if you’re thinking western South Dakota, it’s kind of boring, it’s a snake every now and then, and a tumbleweed… it’s just not the best in the world. So we’re creating our own Badlands feel, which is more of like a post-apocalyptic, Mad Max, aged, distressed feel to it. We’re building a fortress here, with guard towers on the top and a real Apache helicopter that’s going to be up there for the Badlands sheriff’s department, and really giving it this cool look that Sioux Falls has never seen. The inside is going to be spectacular [Chuck Brennan, video interview by Jodi Schwan, Sioux Falls Business Journal, starting with Schwan’s question at timestamp 2:00; video posted to Badlands Pawn website, 2015.04.23].

Jodi Schwan interviews Chuck Brennan, SFBJ video, 2015.04.23
Chuck Brennan thinks about restarting his women’s oil wrestling show with Jodi Schwan. (screen cap, SFBJ video, 2015.04.23)

I can only imagine the emptiness of the soul of an individual who finds the breathtaking beauty of the South Dakota Badlands boring. I can only imagine the juvenility of the fantasist who, in an appropriate metaphor for how he makes money, thinks a world in which the social contract has collapsed and survival depends on raw power is preferable to a land of quiet, austere beauty that makes every individual realize his very small place in the universe.

But I can easily recognize—as should everyone else in South Dakota’s tourism industry—the rank selfishness of a man who publicly dismisses one of South Dakota’s best natural tourist attractions as “boring” to make his own tourist attraction sound better.

Chuck Brennan, on pretty much every count, you come across as an exploitative narcissist. You view South Dakota not as a place of beauty and South Dakotans not as fellow beings worthy of respect and dignity, but simply as resources to consume. That Sioux Falls paper can’t say that, but the rest of us can.

And please, tell your wife that such “vitriolic” words on our part aren’t threats against your family’s personal safety. They’re a call to South Dakotans to protect themselves against the harm you do to them to pay for your houses and toys and ego.


70 Responses to Chuck Brennan, Lifelong Exploiter of Working Class, Bad Apple in SD Tourism Barrel

  1. mike from iowa

    “My vacation is pretty much shot.” Poor baby,what’s a vacation?

  2. Who needs a vacation when you can go into the Badlands Pawn and fawn over his dawn of creation. I think Mr. Brennan’s wife is just fed up with his crap and chooses to live someplace else.

  3. David Newquist

    The Argus Leader is getting literary. It is working out the definition of “philistine.”

  4. Roger Elgersma

    Sturgis Bike Rally, Chuck Brennan, hunting lodges ie brothels. South Dakota is a very conservative state that covers up its own problems. Oh, but we knew that from watching conservative politics.

  5. mike from iowa

    I’m guessing he is an upstanding member of the jeebus loves the wealthy people party.

  6. Good Grief, Mr. Brennan sounds like a real piece of work. If I was reading a novel and a character was described exactly like that, I would think the author was being a just bit on the nose.

  7. It won’t take very long to suck enough money out of the people he loans money to go on another vacation. My heart bleeds for him.

  8. Roger Cornelius

    Well now, there are the beautiful Badlands that are graced with a strong history and archeological finds and than there are the bad lands, what sounds like a monument to the worst form of American capitalism.

  9. …or just a monument to himself, and the childish craving for More that his dad apparently failed to teach him to outgrow.

  10. Mike, I get the impression Brennan’s politics extend only far enough to keep legislators off his back.

  11. mike from iowa

    Dang beavers alter the landscape to suit their lifestyle and build monuments to themselves,usually without clearing it with other inhabitants in their world. You can get a nuisance tag and get rid of beavers.

  12. Steve Hickey

    Mrs. Brennan can relax. I’m a advocate for non violence. Can she assure me no thugs will mess with us? We’ve been warned by people who fight this in other states that millions are at stake and these are ruthless people.

    My favorite part was where he referred to his loan shops as nicer mouse traps. Every time he opens his mouth we get a wave of new supporters. You can join the movement on Facebook… South Dakotans for Reaponsible Lending

  13. Question. Is there a difference between this guy and T. Denny Sanford?

  14. patrick anderson

    I believe that we have seen is what and where he wants to be.

    He is in competition with SanFord and by gosh he wont be happy unless his name is on all of Avera’s property…..we kinda joke when we say Sanford Falls….i guess the new laugh is going to be Brennan Falls.

    Hey here’s a Challenge for ya…….Lets see which one of you (Sanford…Brennan) can give away all your money the fastest…..ill betcha there might be someone that wants to be …..who will become the silent one in a hurry.

    Another Side note…….Thanks go out to all our local Media promoting those they prey on the weak….Im looking forward to seeing more of these types of business coming into our (Great Faces)….its getting hard to say great places.

  15. William Goldberg

    Wow, I would say the guy is a bit spoiled if he couldn’t find it in his heart to be thankful that he got the last seat left on a cheaper flight. I don’t wish bad things to happen to people but some times God will allow someone to go through things to teach them a lesson. I hope this man Brennan doesn’t ever find himself poor again but then again maybe this is just want he needs a lesson from God. Then to think you can go after Avera Health to take over because you don’t have enough money to complete with Danny Sanford, what was this so kind of joke? Either way we or anybody looks at this situation we have a man who needs prayer. God bless you Steve Hickey for exposing the darkness into the light.

  16. Joan Brown

    Owen, I think Brennan and T. Denny are cut of the same cloth. Basically they are both loan sharks and it really annoys me that they are expanding their name all over Sioux Falls. When I skimmed through the article in the Argus this morning, my thought was the “poor, poor, little baby.”

  17. Difference, Owen? Probably not in fundamental motivation, maybe in practical results from community efforts? Sanford has invested in real public goods—medical and other scientific research. Brennan has invested in a music club that affords him the chance to pal around with rock stars.

  18. I agree Cory-probably because he has more money then Brennan and I’m not trying to defend Brennan.
    But Sanford got rich pretty much the same way-just not at such wild interest rates

  19. Steve Hickey

    Last week speaking at a Kiwanis meeting a member took offense to me mentioning Brennan and Sanford in the same sentence. We agreed SD has never seen a more generous philanthropist than Sanford. But the fact is they both made their money on excessive interest rates. My comment was Brennan was more the blue collar version of the white collar Sanford.

    There is however a difference in how yhey are giving back. Both though insist their names remain over their giving. As I mentioned in the article, it’s cathartic philanthropy.

  20. Steve Hickey

    Another thought … Brennan wants the atmosphere of Sturgis in Sioux Falls. Watching the biker shooting in Texas today makes me hope Brennan doesn’t build a hangout for trouble.

  21. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Pat Lalley posting so much on the comment section of one of their articles. I’m thinking he sees the end of the argus, and is hoping to get a job writing the badlands newsletter.

  22. Deb Geelsdottir

    Cory, this post is very well written.

    Hickey, you are doing a good thing in fighting against the cruelty of people like Brennan.

    Lastly, I agree that Brennan and Sanford are much more similar than different.

  23. Paul Seamans

    In Denny Sanford’s defense he is buying all these naming rights in honor of his parents. Or so he says.

  24. William Goldberg

    This thought also came to mind what if you gain the whole world and lose your soul? What have you gained then? Being rich is not the problem, but putting your money before God is. For the Love of money is the root of all evil. Some people get this confused of course it’s not that money is evil it’s the love of it.

  25. William Goldberg

    In fact being rich is a blessing. But then again it can also be a curse if you don’t use your riches for the honor of God and his purposes. What does the scriptures teach us about this topic it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God. Matthew 19:24, Mark 10:25 and Luke 18:25. If Brennan wants the good life and do things that do not please God so be it he will pay for it, when he stands before God and have to give account to what he did. It’s not to late for Mr. Brennan he can get saved and use his riches to bless the Kingdom of God.

  26. Wade Brandis

    Here is something missing from the Argus Leader story… how Chuck is going to start his rock radio network. He purchased the AM and FM licenses from Sunny Radio, consisting of KZOY-AM 1520 and an FM translator on 92.1. The current format is an all 80s music format with emphasis on being a true live-and-local radio station in the Sioux Falls area. (all the other commercial stations are run by out-of-state companies) They also recently expanded to Sioux City but that station wasn’t included in the sale.

    How much did Chuck want for the stations? $1.5 Million. The AM signal is a 500-watt daytime only signal, with a requirement to sign off at sunset to protect 50,000 watt KOKC from Oklahoma City. The FM translator simulcasts the Sunny Radio format on the FM dial and allows them to run 24/7.
    http://radioinsight.com/blog/headlines/92318/station-sales-313/

    What does the future hold for Sunny Radio? We don’t know. The sale doesn’t include the rights to the Sunny Radio format or brand, so perhaps John & Heidi will buy another area license or stream online. But what about the other live-and-local stations in SD that could soon see buyout offers from Chuck? I have a feeling KWYR here in Winner could be next. They are live, local, and run a rock-focused format on their FM signal. Chuck does want his radio network to be heard all across the midwest, so I feel he is either going to go on a buying spree or syndicate his format. Either way, live-and-local radio will suffer in South Dakota.

  27. Shelli Masek

    Great job Cory. No one wants to mention that Brennan left town after a failed radion promotion that left the radio station on the hook for thousands. Not to mention many other people. He glides back into town like a big shot. I wonder if he ever made his bad debts good?? Nah. He’s too busy playing big shot. The man that the media seems to love is the same guy who said, “RibFest is brought to you by Chuck F*cking Brennan,” last year on the night the students from his self-serving Rock and Roll Academy took the stage. The sooner this guy is shown the door, the better.

  28. William Goldberg wrote:
    >“For the Love of money is the root of all evil.”

    Most reputable Bible scholars now concede that the King James Version mistranslated that statement from First Timothy 6:10. A more accurate rendering of the Greek is: “For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil.”

    I hope Mr. Brennan is as wicked as you suggest, Cory, because you thumped him good (adverb). :)

  29. mike from iowa

    I grew up listening to KOMA 1520 AM radio out of Oklahoma City. Could only get the signal in the evening. Great rock and roll music. Also listened to KILR Little Rock and WLS Chicago.

  30. Bill Dithmer

    MFI, KOMA, KILR, WLS, KAAY another Little Rock station. Do you remember Beaker Street? Also back then KSTP in the cities rocked harder at night then anybody.

    While I agree that T Denny and Brennan might be asshats, they did come by their money legally and can do what they want with it. The time to bitch is long past.

    What I find amazing here is that a bible humper is trying to quote scripture from the book of fables while forgetting all about the rich preachers also preaching from the same damned book. Get the pooper scooper and your plastic bag out and head for your own back yard.

    The Blindman

  31. Daniel Buresh

    Just wait until usury laws come into place and the public now goes to pawn shops to get their money. Guy is simply diversifying and guaranteeing he will make money. Smart man.

  32. Charlie Richardson

    I agree that Sanfords giving back is much more honorable, however, if he truly is using these naming rights to honor his PARENTS, why is there a larger than life statue of T. Denny in front of the USD Medical Center?

  33. I tend to be a critic of T. Denny Sanford often, but I have a hard time lumping him together with someone like Brennan.

    Although it is true that Sanford made some of his money from high interest rates and fees… the key term here is “some”. Sanford has made billions from traditional banking services and credit cards that operate under a normal range of interest (which would not be impacted one bit from the 36% APR cap). I know Sanford has had cards with APRs in the 80% range but I also know their disclosures make the interest rates and fees to be fairly opaque. We also know that those high rates are only charged if someone opts to use the card and not pay it off during the grace period – which means it isn’t automatic and there are ways to avoid it.

    We can’t say the same about payday loans as the industry has fought against such open disclosures claiming their shouldn’t have to disclose fees and interest rates on an annual scale since their loans aren’t meant to be held that long. We know that the average person using these services just rolls one payday loan over to another and thus they are impacted by these fees, but the industry does everything in their power to hide these numbers because they prey upon the financially illiterate. We also know there is no way to avoid the massive fees and rates even if a person opts to pay off the loan early.

    As to where their funds go – it seems there is a clear difference between Sanford and Brennan at this time because Sanford funds things which have no direct benefit to him (aka a public good) whereas Brennan’s only charity seems to be things which help him on a pesonal level. Then again, Sanford was probably a Billionaire before he opted to start giving a portion of his wealth away so perhaps this isn’t a fair comparison. I just home Brennan never gets to that level via his current income sources.

    The thing is, if the CFPB gets their way we may soon find that such payday loans are regulated to the point of non-existence. I’m proud of Senator Hickey for pushing this on a state level because I’d like our state to be one of the leaders in this regard, but even if that fails I’m not so sure we won’t see some action on a federal level within the next few years.

  34. mike from iowa

    Blindman-I barely remember Bleaker Street. I have fonder memories of Uncle Larry Lujack and Animal Stories on WLS-the big 89 out of Chicago.

  35. larry kurtz

    WCCO was part of my youth listening along with KAAY, WLS and KOMA.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykjcrlK7gxo

  36. mike from iowa

    It was KAAY,Little Rock that I listened to as a young teen,not KILR. Jeez,I gave up on money,sex,booze,drugs and fishing and now my memory is slipping. Time for the bone yard.

  37. Whatever you have to say about the owner’s usurious money lending business, I’m looking forward to going to the pawn shop when it opens. I think it will be a fun place. And if motorcyclists go there, fine by me. I’ll probably ride mine there. And if Brennan has a shooting range there, fine by me. I’ll probably shoot mine there. Just like Scarlett O’Hara’s, if you don’t like it don’t go.

  38. Deb Geelsdottir

    KOMA and WLS were my sanctuaries in a difficult time. BTW, it was KOMA, not KOMO. I can still hear the jingle.

  39. Bill Dithmer

    When we all started listening to the radio, we had local stations that we could get in the day time, but at night we were at the mercy of the signal that bounced around and landed on us. Most, but not all of the time that signal came from one of the fifty thousand watt blowtorch e’s.

    At one time ownership of a blowtorch was like printing your own money. It didnt matter what the format was because of the monopoly on the AM dial.

    The digital age has kind of leveled the playing field. You dont have to be a blowtorch to broadcast on broadband, and you dont have to be a genus to run an online station.

    Those stations that Brennan is hoping to start sound like a lot of brag, “look at me I have four radio stations going in this building.” When in reality he will hire a few on air personalities for a while, and a computer nerd and go to pumping out CCR.

    I do love having any music any time I want it. There is nothing in this world like typing “Doc Watson” and House of the rising sun, into my tab and hearing the man in less time then it took to read this.

    On the other hand, when our stations were limited, and the signal wasn’t reliable, and it never was, the antisapation was like forplay. And sometimes, by the time you were lucky enough to hear, “your song,” it felt like you needed a cigarette. You younguns have no idea how exhilarating an experence AM radio was.

    For me that happened when I was 11 years old laying in bed listening through the wall to my sisters radio. It was 1964, and an old song I heard for the first time that night changed everything in rock and roll, http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hRXb7K7k7bQ

    The Blindman

  40. mike from iowa

    Haven’t heard that in ages. Thanks for the memories(Animal Stories,too),Blindman.

  41. That was right before the long hair hippies started wrecking everything, Mr. Dithmer.

  42. Deb Geelsdottir

    Yup, the Animals were among my favorites. Thanks Blindman.

    Love the hippies! Woo-hoo!

  43. larry kurtz

    Notice no cords on those guitars in that video, guys?

  44. Deb Geelsdottir

    I don’t know what you mean Larry. The frets and guitar straps are there. What “cords” are you talking about?

  45. larry kurtz

    no cords to amplifiers, deb: like brennan has no link to reality.

  46. Deb Geelsdottir

    Ooooooh. I get it now! Gracias.

  47. happy camper

    But he’s providing a necessary service.

  48. mike from iowa

    So do sharks and I would appreciate sharks ever so much more if they culled politicians instead of cute baby seals.

  49. Wow!!! I guess South Dakotans really can be easily duped–not only as indicated by the prevalence of continually electing a majority of Republicans for office in this state, but now I see there are all kinds of people following this blog that think that something that really smells bad can be prettied up by putting on a pretty face and being a public “do gooder.” A spade is a spade is a spade. So Owen, I pretty much am on the same page as you. I, for one, am not going to give Mr. Sanford a pass because he has managed his PR on a high-test level. I do remember there was a time when there were a lot of complaints on the web about the Premier Bank Card “terms” and the failure to adequately portray the nature of their card. So maybe now they are more transparent, but my understanding is that was not always the case. And besides that, his philanthropy and terms of distribution are not significant in contrast to his billions in net worth, saying nothing about continual earnings. All of this region would have faired better if he had instead raised wages for all his employees and infused that into the local economy. I think the Sarah Palin phrase “lipstick on a pig” fits in here. I don’t necessarily like the pay day loan model, but to disparage one and glorify the other is just way too much for me! It is really hard to believe it but, I would swear some people were hesitant to call it like it is for some reason or other.

  50. Deb Geelsdottir

    Mary N., you’ve stated your case very well. That’s how I feel about most of the 1%. They got there by exploiting others. If they had treated those others better, they might not be in need of donations now.

  51. T from South Dakota

    No wonder he was drawn to Mary Chatelle. I’m sure once he found out she preyed on the elderly via telemarketing scams, he knew she was his soul mate/ fantasy business partner. http://lasvegassun.com/news/1998/apr/23/nevada-briefs/

  52. bill d.-KAAY was the best after midnight on the road, the only underground broadcast, hard to pick up in western sd, eastern mt & wyo. high school. gigs. cadillac with a trailer full of drums, speakers, guitars, screaming south of casper through 2 a.m. herds of antelope on ice covered blacktop. that, and beaker theater, keeps us awake. pull into mr. donut at sunrise, other musicians smile as we are the only kids still awake in rapid city. fun times-the sixties.

  53. Dingo ate your baby

    Sounds like it sure pays to be childhood friends with Brennan, if you’re an attorney:

    https://docs.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/nevada/nvdce/2:2009cv02441/70881/67

  54. allyson nagel

    Keep him FAR away from the real Badlands… He would destroy them with his evil greed. Bastard.

  55. Shirley Harrington-Moore

    full time music from your favorite era? SiriusXM radio 24/7. Zuckerberg says he and his wife plan to give 99% of Facebook toward making the world a better place. In whose opinion. This is Sanford/Brennan/Koch pattern. Woohoo. What about the future we thought we would provide?

  56. Wade Brandis

    It appears that Chuck’s big bet has come to pass. The massive “entertainment fortress” (yes, that is what their website calls it) opened on schedule along with their in-house radio station KBAD… which used to be non-commercial KCFS. And judging by the photos on their various FB pages, they had quite a massive turnout for the first day. Perhaps the people visiting there wanted to get away from family on Thanksgiving?

    I took a little listen to KBAD online, and it just sounds like any modern rock station I have heard before. Apparently they are supposed to have far more songs than similar stations, but it’s all the hard rock stuff. They also have a part of their website dedicated to signing up affiliates to distribute their “Guns Gold & Rock N’ Roll” network, complete with pricing and program clocks. At the end of the day, it just serves as a promotional vehicle for the pawn shop.

    I read an article from the Argus Leader about the opening, and Chuck wants to expand his “Badlands Pawn” concept to other cities such as Rapid City and Reno, Nevada. I also learned another local Sioux Falls business called Cleaver’s Market is operating the in-pawn deli, called Cleaver’s Bad Deli. That isn’t the best name for a deli IMO.

    When the pawn was first announced the day after Christmas last year, I was very skeptical that he would get this all going in under a year. Well, he did it, probably with the money he made from running his shady loan business.

  57. Mary Perpich

    I agree with all you say. And you have nailed the promotional support Stu Whitney has given this exploitive business.

  58. larry kurtz

    Yet, Ms. Perpich, you’ve targeted Steve Hickey even as he sees the Brennan enterprise as a moral hazard. I’d say pick a lane.

  59. larry kurtz

    For which statewide office will you stand, Mary?

  60. larry kurtz

    Let’s see your comprehensive plan for Brookings County, Mary.

  61. BadMan Pawn

    Stu Whitney? Didn’t I see you at Scarlett’s the other night? Oh and Chuck, if you think you can sell silver for $45 an oz when it’s trading for $15, you’re crazier than I thought.

  62. Jason Larson

    Ego, money and power. That’s all this is. Anything to make a dollar, and they mean anything. And they’re building monuments to themselves; it’s classic narcissism. They want not to better the world; they want to leave their mark on it, like a mutt on a hydrant.

    There’s a local nonprofit doing the exact same thing, only hiding its sins behind a cross. I wonder what the public will think when they find out about the multi-million dollar renovation/expansion taking place in southwest Sioux Falls? Would they care about the obscene waste, like an onsite heated garage to complement the private living quarters for the CEO? What about knowing this is all while the employees who provide direct care for his generation get squeezed with frozen wages and higher healthcare premiums?

  63. Curious: this post on Brennan has gotten a sudden resurgence of attention the past couple days. Can you folks tell me what brought you here?

  64. Wade Brandis

    Well, I posted a comment, I guess, to update the progress on his Badlands empire, simply because at the time the original post was written, it was still very unclear whether or not Chuck would succeed in opening his new venture on time. Most of the media coverage surrounding the new pawn fortress has been from the MSM. Even Time.com had an article on it.

    Announcing that you would open a pawn fortress in under a year seemed like a pie-in-the-sky dream on December 26th 2014, but it’s surprising that he got it built in such a short amount of time. That leaves other questions, such as whether Chuck cut corners with the buildings construction to make the Thanksgiving deadline. We don’t know if that is true at all as there is no evidence suggesting that, but still, it makes me think about the buildings safety.

    I recall seeing a TV interview on one of the local news shows (forgoet which station), where Chuck was talking about why he wanted to build his pawn fortress. Chuck said he wants something to put Sioux Falls on the map, and he basically brushed off the Battleship Memorial, Falls Park, and the Great Plains Zoo when talking about that. If I can find the particular interview where he says that, I can link it here as it is similar to how he disrespected the real Badlands. He has this mindset that existing tourist attractions aren’t good enough to his liking, and thus, feels the need to draw people away from more important sights to see a glorified pawn shop.

  65. Thanks, Wade! Nothing like seeing Chuck class up Sioux Falls the way he sees fit.

  66. I can’t believe no one’s made the reference to Biff Tannen from the “bad” 1985 from Back To The Future 2 yet?

  67. Mitchell Brothers

    Funny no one mentioned his wife’s felony conviction in Nevada for stealing from the elderly and she’s afraid of returning to South Dakota? paste lasvegassun.com/news/1998/apr/23/nevada-briefs or Google search Mary Chatelle elderly. What happened to his other brainstorm Loanshack?? No genius business mind at work here. Don’t forget the hooker he hired to meet him in Utah. So many skeletons and so few closets. How many people did he leave bankrupt in Pipestone when his bar there failed?