Want to Buy a Radio Station, Speedway, and Pawn Store that Can’t Survive Without Payday Loans?

The euphemism of the week comes from the crybaby of the year, law-breaking payday-loan millionaire Chuck Brennan, who refers to the schlock-and-crock business operations he is shutting down in his final fit of pique at the state of South Dakota as “a massive community enhancement project“:

In 2015 Chuck Brennan and his team launched a massive community enhancement project called Badlands. This project included the best Race track and outdoor amphitheater ever built in the Midwest. It included a 70,000 square foot “Pawn Shop” that had a foundry, tattoo parlor, deli, gun range, gun store, concert venue, music department, casino, house band, entertainment group, radio station and retail store. It created the best Rock station ever in Sioux Falls in KBAD with #1 ratings for 18 months in a row. It created a state of the art Gun Store with an indoor 14 lane shooting range allowing members of law enforcement to shoot for free. At costs of over $75,000,000 spent mostly with South Dakota businesses, and providing over 400 jobs, it made a major impact.

…Without the financial support of Dollar Loan Center, and with an unknown time line, we must make difficult business decisions.

Effective immediately we are permanently closing the Badlands Entities and putting all of the properties and assets on the market for sale [Statement posted on KBAD945.com, 2017.09.23].

Yo, Chuck: a project that enhances the community doesn’t need to rely on business schemes that break the law and trap vulnerable members of the community in debt.

Brennan is asking $9.45 million for his racetrack, $9.45 million for his pawn shop (not including the inventory and liquor license), $945,000 for the inventory in the gun shop, $945,000 for his radio license, $945,000 for the radio station building.

Of course, Brennan emitted similar whines and squeals last winter, saying he was done with Sioux Falls and South Dakota for daring to cap interest at his loan shark shops at 36%. He vowed last January to put the whole kit-and-kaboodle up for sale… and here he is nine months later, still whining. Gee: when Brennan admits that he couldn’t put together a solid, self-sustaining business model for any of his little playground projects, why would any sober entrepreneur risk an capital in such losing ventures?

The real community enhancement project here is the 36% rate cap, which has sharply curtailed exploitative payday lending in South Dakota and which may, once we resolve Chuck’s crybaby lawsuit against the South Dakota Division of Banking, finally get Brennan to shut up and leave South Dakota for good.

10 Responses to Want to Buy a Radio Station, Speedway, and Pawn Store that Can’t Survive Without Payday Loans?

  1. Mike Henriksen

    And in an added “Nero fiddled while Rome burned” moment, Chuck spent the last day the radio station was on the air in the studio counting down his 100 favorite songs.

  2. Wade Brandis

    I wonder if those KBAD rock jocks were blindsided by this move.

    On one of the TV stations Facebook pages (KELO or KDLT), people were commenting on this and some stated KBAD was running contests on Friday, and were wondering if they would get their prizes because of the station being shut down. KBAD’s social media pages have also been deleted. Same goes for the gun store.

    KBAD could live on if Rob Feller manages to buy it. Both of the two major Sioux Falls radio groups might be at their FCC imposed ownership caps, so they can’t acquire KBAD without selling off one of their existing stations first.

    The Badlands Pawn building and the race track have been up for sale since the beginning of the year with seemingly no takers. $945,000 seems a bit high for a small 25kw radio station that doesn’t even make it to Mitchell.

  3. KBAD was the best rock radio station not only in Sioux Falls, but anywhere. It’s a shame it’s shut down. The station went out in a blaze of glory playing Brennan’s favorite 94.5 songs, which really rocked. Best day for the best rock station. On top of that, KBAD gave away $9,450 to one lucky winner who qualified as a finalist that very day, and gave away two Fiat 500’s to another lucky winner for its summer contest. No other Sioux Falls radio station has given away anywhere close to as muck as KBAD gave away in its short existence.

    I also miss the deli and the gun shop/range, where just last week I made purchases adding to my gun collection.

    Brennan could have used his payday loan profits elsewhere, but he gave a lot back to Sioux Falls bringing great entertainment and creating a lot of jobs that would otherwise not have been here. For that he deserves our thanks.

  4. Ror, thank you for the Freudian slip of the day—indeed, no one is as close to muck as Chuck Brennan.

  5. Mayor Huether and other city leaders sucking up to Brennan was and still is an embarrassment to Sioux Falls. From Stu Whitney’s article on 6/17/15: “Brennan had planned for Sioux Falls to be his fourth Badlands Pawn location – after Rapid City, Reno and Nashville – but Mayor Mike Huether and development director Darrin Smith talked him into building here first. They envision a Cabela’s type destination that offers more than just a retail experience, with tour buses from I-90 and I-29 providing steady business.” Well, not so much.

  6. Among the various payday lending places in Sioux Falls, Dollar Loan Center was the best of the bunch. And none of those other places invested anything into the community besides their own business. Unlike all of those other places, Chuck Brennan invested a ton of money in Sioux Falls and created hundreds of jobs outside of Dollar Loan Center. He started the Rock & Roll Academy to teach kids how to be musicians, and he brought famous musicians in to meet, teach and mentor the kids. The only reason you are singling him out is because none of the other payday lenders has enough of a profile that anybody even knows their names. I voted for the interest rate cap, but I’m not on board with demonizing Chuck Brennan – the only one of the payday lenders who gives a crap about South Dakota and tried to give back. I like what he was trying to accomplish here, and I wish he had been successful at it. I hope he does all of these things in Reno or Nashville.

  7. mike from iowa

    Sinclair broadcasting could buy the station and play Lee Greenwood’s proud to be an American ditty over and over until Drumpf is escorted from office in a strait-jacket with matching red tie manacles.

    One can dream.

  8. Ror, a guy who actually gave a crap about South Dakota and the South Dakotans he hired wouldn’t (a) build a business model on deceptive and exploitative payday loans and (b) wouldn’t be throwing this fit and canning employees. The evidence at hand supports, if not demonization, at least a recognition that Brennan’s motives fall short of admirable.

  9. mike from iowa

    Brennan sounds like a victim and does not appear to show much concern for his ex-employees.

  10. Mr. Brennan knew he couldn’t save people who where too dumb to save themselves, so he tried to give them a safe place to spend their borrowed money. Did you know there is a billboard out by the Rapid City dump that says “so many miles to Badlands Pawn?” This Mr. Brennan, shutting down, is even going to take business away from Lamar. But he is certainly now going to give business to the leg-breakers and loan sharks in the alley behind the Brass Rail.