Meet Your Merchant: A desert home for the big toys

Shannon Litz/Nevada AppealChauffeur Grant Gianola in the Hwy50 Toy Shed with his limousine on Wednesday afternoon.

Shannon Litz/Nevada AppealChauffeur Grant Gianola in the Hwy50 Toy Shed with his limousine on Wednesday afternoon.

MOUND HOUSE - With sagebrush on one side and a brothel on the other, garages fit for the most upscale of neighborhoods have arisen.

They sprung up in the desert next to the Moonlite BunnyRanch, with owner Dennis Hof starting the new venture as the opening volley of plans for an eventual business park in the desert.

Right now the focus is on the garages, dubbed the Hwy50 Toy Shed, Hof said. The 22 bays, at 45 and 50 feet deep, are aimed at those with the toys that need protection from pipe-bursting winter lows and the leather-cracking summer sun.

All the bays offer private access and are climate-controlled. Chief Financial Officer Tom Potter said he doesn't think temperatures inside the white buildings broke the low 80s in the summer, and he guarantees temperatures won't get lower than the 40s in the winter.

"It's not one of those garbage metal buildings; it's a real building with drywall and beautifully finished inside," Hof said, adding, "If you're going to have an expensive vehicle or boat or RV, you'll want it climate-controlled."

The bays have removable sheetrock separator walls for clients and floodlights set up on the outside. Plus, Hof said, the garage will benefit from the Bunny Ranch security team a stone's throw away.

Hof said that he's willing to "roll the dice" on the project and that it is just the beginning in a new push of investment in Mound House.

He eventually wants to build a new '50s-style diner on the 16 acres next to the ranch as well as corporate offices for Hof's operations and for lease by other businesses.

"It's all plans and talk at this point, but so was our RV park a year ago," Hof said.

Potter acknowledged that some may bristle at the idea of leasing an office next to one of Nevada's most famous brothels. But every business draws its detractors, he said, and at the end of the day it is all legal.

In the end, he and Hof said, it's about investing in the town their business calls home.

"People have this perception that Mound House is a junkyard," Potter said, "when really, it's not."

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