Mesa’s mayor is vowing a vigorous crackdown on massage parlors that serve as fronts for prostitution.
The number of licensed massage parlors in the city has soared from 73 to about 120 since April 2006.
Mayor Scott Smith said Mesa will strengthen its massage-parlor laws, which he said were “gutted” during a 2004 rewrite.
At that time the state was in the process of taking over massage-therapy licensing and setting up a board to regulate the industry.
Mesa rewrote its ordinance to coincide with state law and removed numerous requirements that had been in the old ordinance.
The city will now instruct the police department to go after seedy operations that operate at all hours and don’t follow laws pertaining to sanitation, lighting or plumbing.