Brothel owner gets go-ahead to take over Crystal properties

Look out, Southern Nevada sex trade: Here comes Dennis Hof.

The reality television star and outspoken owner of two brothels near Carson City has won permission to expand his bordello empire south into Nye County.

In a unanimous vote Tuesday, the licensing board in the rural county approved Hof's applications to take over two old brothels in the tiny community of Crystal, 85 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

Hof, whose Moonlite Bunny Ranch east of Carson City is the setting for a long-running HBO reality show, plans to renovate the Crystal properties as soon as he takes them over at the end of the month.

"We're going to do this thing right, and hopefully we're going to do it quickly," he said.

Hof also intends to use his new southern locale to push for change in "the sexual cesspool that is Las Vegas," he said.

As far as Hof is concerned, Nevada's largest city should either legalize and regulate prostitution or get serious about stopping the illegal sex trade.

With his new acquisitions in Nye County, Hof can boast the largest legal bordello empire in Nevada history, said George Flint, who lobbies on behalf of the state's brothel industry.

"I don't think anyone ever had four (licenses) in Nevada," Flint said.

Though the two men have had their differences in the past, Flint made the trip from Reno to Pahrump to testify in favor of Hof's license applications Tuesday.

Hof called the licensing process "painful," but it seemed to go far more quickly and smoothly for him than it has for other recent applicants in Nye County.

Flint described Tuesday's meeting as a veritable love-fest, with the sheriff and several members of the County Commission warmly greeting Hof before the vote.

That might have something to do with who Hof is replacing. The two bordellos in Crystal are owned by longtime brothel owner Joe Richards, who pleaded guilty last year to bribing a county commissioner to further his business interests.

County regulators will vote Friday on whether to take action against the licenses Richards still holds for his one remaining brothel north of Crystal and the castle-themed strip club he built at one of Pahrump's busiest intersections.

At a meeting last month, the county's liquor and licensing board declined to schedule a disciplinary hearing that could have put Richards out of business.

On Aug. 31, the day Hof expects to take ownership of the brothels in Crystal, he has meetings scheduled with architects and swimming pool builders to discuss transforming the rundown properties into a desert oasis, he said.

His plans include a restaurant and bar, pools, fountains "and naked girls everywhere."

Hof said he has lined up "two of the hottest girls around" -- porn star Chasey Lain and Hustler cover girl Cami Parker -- to service his first customers in Crystal.

Parker wore a low-cut dress when she accompanied Hof to Tuesday's licensing board meeting.

"I want to bring a new level of sex entertainment to Southern Nevada," he said.

It might not sound like it, but that is the new, mellow Hof talking, Flint said.

In the past, Flint thought Hof marketed his businesses a little too aggressively, but he has toned down his act and become a bit more politically savvy over the years.

"He's not getting on airplanes anymore and handing out his business card to everyone, introducing himself as Nevada's pimpmaster general," Flint said.

Contact reporter Henry Brean at or 702-383-0350.