Palm Springs Club Owners Sue Marc Geiger, SaveLive

The long-time owners of Palm Springs, California club The Alibi are suing former WME executive Marc Geiger and his purported venue-saving project SaveLive, for breach of contract, fraud and misrepresentation.

The Alibi’s Melanie Tusquellas and Elizabeth Garo were among the earliest club owners who signed on with Geiger and SaveLive in April 2022. Geiger’s plan called for SaveLive — backed by more than millions in financing — to acquire 51 percent equity in venues struggling in the wake of the pandemic and to allow them to expand once back on stable footing. Geiger’s fellow former WME exec John Fogelman was a co-founder; Fogelman is not named in the lawsuit.

Marc Geiger

According to a complaint filed in Superior Court in Los Angeles County, SaveLive told the pair it was committed to maintaining the character of the 200-cap venue and allowing significant operational control to remain with Garo and Tusquellas.

“Under the deal, Garo and Tusquellas would retain the liquor license for The Alibi through a business entity called 369 Palm Inc, which entered into an agreement with Geiger’s group to serve as The Alibi’s concessionaire,” the complaint reads.

Under California’s alcohol laws, there are far fewer regulatory hurdles and delays if the liquor license — a valuable component in any club’s operation — remained with the incumbent owners.

“Shortly after 369 Palm sold a majority interest in The Alibi, Save Live’s true intentions became crystal clear,” the complaint alleges.

The plaintiffs say that, in apparent violation of the concession agreement, SaveLive insisted its accountant keep the books for the concessions business, going on to intermingle its revenues with those of the broader club and the broader SaveLive operation.

When Garo and Tusquellas objected to the arrangement, “SaveLive responded with personal threats and intimidation,” the complaint alleges.

The Alibi closed in July 2022, less than four months after reopening under the SaveLive auspices.

The complaint goes on that eventually SaveLive and Geiger tried to force the pair to sell the liquor license for a fraction of its value. When they refused, the club shut down, causing the license to revert to the state of California as inactive. If it remains inactive for one year, under state law, it will be administratively revoked. If 369 Palm wishes to revive the license after the one-year window, they’ll essentially be starting from scratch.

The suit alleges breaches of contract, good faith and fair dealing; interference; and fraud of both the negligent and intentional varieties. The plaintiffs seek compensatory and punitive damages as well as injunctions forcing the club to reopen at least once a month in order to keep the liquor license in good standing.

Geiger and SaveLive did not respond to request for comment.