In a dim parlour furnished with red velvet couches and a stripper pole, Brooke Taylor is having a sale on herself.
“I offer a lot more specials and discounts and incentives for people to come in to see me,” said Taylor, a sex worker in a short, green dress at the Moonlite BunnyRanch outside Carson City, Nevada.
“People are looking for deals.”
Nevada’s legal brothels, which took root in the mid-1800s silver mining boom, are dwindling – to about 19 from about 36 in 1985, according to George Flint, an industry lobbyist.
Many have been the highest-profile businesses in their sparsely populated regions. Their decline hurts already stretched county budgets and marks the end to local institutions.
Brothel managers blame the state’s flagging economy, growing use of the internet to arrange liaisons, and decreased patronage by truckers who are squeezed by rising petrol costs.
“A lot of our clients don’t have the discretionary income they had six, five years ago,” said Susan Austin, the madam of the Mustang Ranch in Sparks, about 24 km east of Reno. “The ones that can come in aren’t spending what they were before.”
Most brothels are in rural areas with few residents and employers. The brothels pay little to the state, sending most of their fees and tax payments to the counties that oversee them. – Bloomberg