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Two women want to open Churchill brothel

Josh Johnson

FALLON – Two Nevada women are seeking to open a brothel in Churchill County on Kamibo Drive.

Ruth Hall of Carson City and Dawn Santos of Virginia City want to open a brothel at 7750 Kamibo Drive, off Trento Lane.

Their plans will be a discussion item at a Tuesday workshop meeting of the Churchill County Planning Commission. No formal decision will be made at the meeting.

“We know of someone who is in the business and respect her very much,” said Hall, who works in retail. “We decided after looking at various counties, Churchill seemed to be the most friendly use-wise, in terms of fees and what have you.”

The women have looked at other sites in the county for a brothel, Hall said. They also looked at Salt Wells Villa and the Lazy B brothels, but determined the cost to purchase the property and build an acceptable structure was prohibitive, she said.

There are currently no brothels operating in Churchill County.

Salt Wells was closed in 2004 after the owner declared bankruptcy and the health department found the facility lacked potable water. The Lazy B has been vacant for years.

If a brothel were placed in the county, three or four older women would work as managers, Hall said. The number of working girls has not been determined, but she said finding employees should not be a problem.

“We definitely want to have it be a first-class operation,” Hall said. “We do not want to have anything sleazy.”

She cited the “safety valve” argument as a justification for a brothel in the county.

“It’s such a needed outlet,” Hall said. “I would rather have something of this nature going on in a controlled environment than to have somebody raped in an alley somewhere or untold-of things being done to innocent people.”

The Churchill County Commission approved a brothel ordinance in April, following months of discussion and 18 draft revisions. Under the ordinance, prostitutes work as independent contractors and are responsible for their own taxes and weekly medical exams.

The first step in opening a brothel in the county is to obtain a special-use permit from the planning commission. If approved, prospective brothel owners then apply for a license, which entails an extensive background check, advertising plan and other requirements.

Brothels are not restricted to any particular area of the county. They are prohibited from operating within 2,000 feet of parks, schools, school bus stops, churches and adult-entertainment businesses.

Churchill County residents voted to allow legal prostitution in the county in 1974. A proposal to repeal the ordinance failed in November 2004 by a 2-to-1 margin.

The Churchill County Planning Commission will hold a workshop meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in room 102 of the County Administration Building.


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