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Date of Issue: April 23, 2008

Sex doesn't sell in Holmes Beach

Sex may sell on Madison Avenue and there’s “Sex and the City,” a popular rerun on TV, but sex in Holmes Beach apparently doesn’t sell very well.

The house at 5601 Flotilla Drive that was the scene of a week-long sex party in May 2006 has been “red-tagged” by the Manatee County Tax Collector’s office for failure to pay property taxes for 2007.

In addition, the house is up for sale through foreclosure auction, but the minimum bid is reportedly well below what the remaining mortgage amount is with the bank.

Sale price on the house started at $1.69 million in September 2007, but had dropped to $904,900 by March, according to information from the Manatee County Multiple Listing Service for real estate.

Real estate agent May Aston of ReMax is handling the auction sale and said she had not heard back from the bank if it would approve the most recent bid, which was reportedly around $400,000.

The property gained the nickname “mandingo house” after a pornographic Web site video-taped sex parties at the house in May 2006 for viewing on the Internet by members of a sex club called “Mandingo.”

At that time, the house was owned by Scott and Deanne Hopp. Scott Hopp denied any knowledge of the sex parties.

While the sex party caused quite a stir in Holmes Beach, particularly when nude females were observed sun-bathing outside the house, police found the party violated no ordinance and were unable to shut down the parties.

However, the Hopps ordered the renter to cease the activity that they claimed violated their rental contract.