Vegas brothel tries to lure women customers | NevadaAppeal.com

Vegas brothel tries to lure women customers

KATHLEEN HENNESSEY
Associated Press Writer

LAS VEGAS – At least one legal brothel in Nevada is trying to add men to its menu of services.

Business is down at the Shady Lady Ranch, where owner Bobbi Davis hopes to start hiring male prostitutes to add to the lineup at the small, roadside brothel to try to lure new female customers.

“We’ve had requests for men in the past, and there’s nothing else like this out there,” she said.

Indeed, the 25 legal brothels scattered throughout 10 rural Nevada counties are staffed by women and cater to men.

Former Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss once tried to change that with her promise to open “Heidi’s Stud Farm” near Pahrump. Fleiss gave up the effort earlier this year after being arrested on felony drug charges.

Nevada Brothel Association lobbyist George Flint says others also have tried over the years, with little success. He argues that the business model for a brothel that caters to women just doesn’t pencil out.

“Seducing a woman and seducing a man in a brothel environment are different things completely. One can take a few minutes, the other can take hours. It wouldn’t make money,” he said.

Still, Flint said a handful of brothels have approached him with the idea lately, each looking for a new way to drum up business.

Like Nevada’s gambling, hotel and convention industries, the prostitution business has hit hard times. Flint estimates that bordellos have seen a roughly 50 percent drop in revenue since the economy turned sour.

“Business is so bad right now, I think brothels would do anything to survive. Disposable income is just in short supply at the moment,” he said.

Last summer, Davis tried offering $50 gas cards to customers willing to make the drive to the Shady Lady along U.S. 95 about 150 miles north of Las Vegas. This year, she’s going with new product.

Prostitution is outlawed in five of the state’s counties, including in the Reno and Las Vegas metropolitan areas. But brothel have operated legally since 1971 in outlying areas when the Mustang Ranch east of Reno was licensed as Nevada’s first legal bordello.

At least for now, Davis plans to keep her current prices for services – $500 for two hours, $800 for three.

“That may change. We’re figuring that women may want a longer period of time, maybe a little more romance. They’re not quite like men in that respect,” she said.

They’re not like men in many other respects, and that could give Davis a problem when it comes to licensing her new employees.

While Nevada law allows for legal prostitutes of both genders, the health codes that regulate the business largely are written to apply to female prostitutes. That includes a requirement that customers wear condoms and the working girls have mandatory cervical exams.

“It’s kind of hard to do that with a man,” Davis said.

Nye County Sheriff Tony DeMeo, whose office administers work cards for prostitutes, said he’s aware of Davis’ plan and has sought legal advice from the county district attorney.

Meanwhile, Davis is drawing up her help wanted ad. She said she’ll be looking for one or two men “in good shape, in their mid-30s to 50s.” Asked about the age range, she notes that’s another way women differ from men.

“Look at George Clooney, he’s 50 and he’s still considered a very sexy man. Women don’t consider a man washed up by the time he’s 50,” she said.