End of the road for Nevada’s prostitution business?
Two rural counties home to half of the state’s legal brothels put the matter up to vote on November ballots
By Jim Carlton
Published: June 18, 2018 7:18 a.m. ET
MOUND HOUSE, Nev. — Nevada’s legal brothels have a new adversary: the #MeToo movement.
A coalition of women’s advocacy groups in Nevada has undertaken referendum initiatives against legal prostitution in Lyon and Nye counties, opposite corners of the state that are home to about half of the state’s brothels.
Lyon County commissioners voted on June 7 to place a nonbinding question on the November ballot on whether to ban prostitution at legal brothels and agreed to abide by whatever the public decides — effectively preempting the referendum initiative there.
With names like Love Ranch and Chicken Ranch, brothels have been legal or tolerated in much of Nevada for over a century and are as much a part of the Silver State’s image of sin and debauchery as gaming and bachelor parties.
The referendum measures, if passed, would outlaw nine bordellos in the two rural counties located a short drive away from Reno and Las Vegas, where prostitution is illegal. Observers say the measures would serve notice to the state’s remaining 11 or so legal brothels that their days could be numbered, too.