Dennis Hof, the 70-year-old owner of the legal Las Vegas area brothel known as Moonlite BunnyRanch, as well as six other brothels, said on Tuesday that the prostitutes who work at his establishments are available to offer “compassion” to people traumatized by the horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas on Sunday night, according to an interview with the entertainment industry news site The Wrap.
Prostitution is illegal in 49 of the 50 United States — with Nevada being the lone exception. But even in Nevada, sex work is heavily regulated and is not permitted outside of licensed brothels — which themselves are prohibited in counties with populations over 700,000. As a result, prostitution remains outlawed in Las Vegas itself, as well as in Reno, Nevada.
Hof has carved an image for himself as perhaps the most visible entrepreneur in the legal brothel industry in Nevada, and it was his establishments that were featured in the HBO reality TV series Cathouse, which aired from 2005 to 2008. But due to the state regulations, all of his brothels must be located outside Las Vegas in rural, desert areas.
The impresario, who titled his autobiography The Art of the Pimp, has a long history of publicity stunts to attract attention to his legalized prostitution business.
“The prostitutes of the Moonlite Bunny Ranch, Love Ranch Vegas, Alien Cathouse and my other Nevada brothels are devastated by this horrific and meaningless act of violence against a city known to be the entertainment and pleasure capital of the world,” Hof said in the interview. “Las Vegas is a city that welcomes people from all walks of life and does so without judgement or discrimination.”
Hof’s invitation for mass shooting victims and others affected by the attack to use the services of the prostitutes in his employ is actually his second publicity coup of the week. Earlier, Hof claimed in the press that O.J. Simpson, who was released from prison after nine years on an armed robbery conviction Sunday, would shortly be paying a post-release visit to one of the brothels in his chain.
A gunman named Stephen Paddock on Sunday opened fire with automatic weapons on a crowd of thousands gathered at country music concert below, killing 59 people and wounding more than 500 more, some of them critically.
The mass shooting has stunned the entire United States, but the local Las Vegas area has been especially hard hit by the aftermath of the senseless massacre, prompting Hof’s latest offer of prostitution services.
“This is a dark day for Sin City, but rest assured this terrible event will not break the spirit of the community. My Las Vegas-area brothels will remain open and the working girls will be there to lend compassion and tenderness to the men and women that need it during this sorrowful time.”
What Hof did not say, however, was whether his employees would be offering their services free of charge, or even at a discount, to sufferers in the mass shooting aftermath. The prostitutes at Hof’s establishments operate as independent contractors and negotiate their own prices with customers, but according to some reports, customers typically part with between $200 and $600 per visit to use the prostitution services. However, many of the prostitutes will give a discount to members of the military of between 15 and 20 percent.
[Featured Image by Debra Reid/AP Images]