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September 20, 2019

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Hof says losses are piling up as brothel remains closed

Nevada Brothel Love Ranch

Chris Carlson / AP

A sign advertises the Love Ranch brothel, Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015, in the Nye County community of Crystal, about 80 miles from Las Vegas.

Brothels in Nye County

A sign gives direction to Dennis Hof's Love Ranch brothel in Crystal, Dec. 20, 2017. Launch slideshow »

Flamboyant Nevada brothel owner Dennis Hof says more than a dozen prostitutes are out of work and he’s losing tens of thousands of dollars a day after Nye County shut down one of his bordellos over alleged building permitting violations.

“It’s costing me a lot of money,” said Hof, whose Love Ranch South brothel outside Pahrump was shut down over the weekend, although the bar and restaurant remain open. “I will defend myself. I have no problem suing the county for what they’re doing to me.”

At issue are purported modifications made since 2010 to the trailers where up to 10 women at a time ply their trade. The county on Saturday described them as “stick built additions” that were not properly permitted or approved.

On Sunday, Nye County Sheriff’s Department deputies showed up and confiscated the brothel’s license and the work cards for upwards of 15 women to do business at the establishment about 90 miles north of Las Vegas, Hof and county officials said.

The matter was the subject of a special meeting Monday involving county commissioners, the planning commission and state fire marshal members, who decided to uphold Hof's suspension.

Hof said there have been no recent modifications to the property and that the ordeal is politically motivated because he is running for state Assembly. He is seeking the Republican nomination for District 36, which includes Nye and Lincoln counties and part of Clark County.

“I’ve been doing business for 42 years in Nevada and seven years in Nye County and have never had a problem for the first five and a half years,” Hof said. “Now I run for office and I have 18 months of hell — one problem and another.”

Each day the brothel is closed, the monetary loss grows, Hof said.

“We make a lot of money there,” he said. “It’s 30 people out of work and losing tens of thousands of dollars a day ... for no reason.”

Nye County Commissioner John Koenig said Hof must bring the brothel into compliance with applicable codes before the county can consider reinstating the license. The earliest that could happen would be at the commission’s next meeting on March 12.

Hof’s other brothel in Nye County, the Alien Cathouse in Amargosa Valley, remains open.