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Chicken Ranch (Nevada)

Chicken Ranch, June 2007

The Chicken Ranch is a legal, licensed brothel located about 60 miles (97 km) west of Las Vegas near the town of Pahrump, in Nye County, at 10511 Homestead Road. The 17-bed brothel[1] sits on 40 acres (16 ha) of land. A separate building, connected to the main house by a breezeway, contains three extensively-decorated themed "bungalows" catering to those customers wishing a more luxurious experience.

The ranch used to house a collection of memorabilia from the original Chicken Ranch which was located outside of La Grange, Texas.

The ranch is also site of the Leghorn Bar. The bar has a separate entrance for customers not wishing to enter the brothel parlor.



Roadside billboard for the Chicken Ranch

Walter Plankinton opened the Nevada Chicken Ranch in 1976,[1] as close to Las Vegas as legally possible. He encountered strong opposition from local law enforcement and other brothel owners.[2]

The initial location of the Chicken Ranch was inside the town limits of Pahrump, where prostitution was illegal. Plankinton was arrested and found guilty of violating the town's laws.[3] He moved the brothel to a new location within Nye County, but outside of town limits. After lengthy appeals he served 60 days in jail in 1981.

Nye County did not require brothels to be licensed in 1976, and three other brothels operated legally in the county at the time. Nevertheless, officials circulated a petition opposing the Chicken Ranch and then tried to close it down as a "public nuisance per se". The resulting court case reached the Nevada Supreme Court, which ruled in Plankinton's favor in 1978.[4]

In 1978, the Chicken Ranch was burned to the ground, allegedly by arsonists. The twelve prostitutes and two employees barely survived. Plankinton reopened with a new set of trailers 5 days later.

In 1982, Plankinton sold the Chicken Ranch for $1,000,000 to Kenneth Green, a San Francisco businessman, and Russel Reade, an ex-teacher. Reade, who had contributed $25,000 towards the purchase, became the manager. Around 15 women were working at the ranch at that time.[5]

Chicken Ranch Airport was closed in 2004.[6]

On February 8, 2006, the ranch accepted a purchase offer for $5.2 million.

Books, movies, TV shows, musicEdit

Don Stadterman was a chauffeur for the Chicken Ranch Brothel in Nevada for seven years. Now he has written a book about the men he drove to the brothel and the ladies who worked there. His book is called Ride With Me To The Chicken Ranch Brothel.

Jeanie Kasindorf's book Nye County Brothel Wars (Linden Press/Simon & Schuster 1985) describes the opposition Plankinton encountered in Nye County.

In 1983, the house was the subject of the documentary Chicken Ranch by filmmaker Nick Broomfield.

The six part Sundance Channel series Pleasure for Sale (2008) documented life in the Chicken Ranch, describing the sometimes tense relations among the prostitutes working there.[7][8][9]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Levitan, Corey (2008-07-07). "Stark Raving Madam". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 2008-07-07. 
  2. ^ Jeanie Kasindorf. Nye County Brothel Wars, Linden Press/Simon & Schuster, 1985
  3. ^ "Back Then". Pahrump Valley Times. February 1, 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-07-09. 
  4. ^ Nye County v. Plankinton, 94 Nev. 739, 587 P.2d 421 (1978)
  5. ^ McCracken, Bob (2 January 2015). "Life inside the early days of the Chicken Ranch". Pahrump Valley Times. Retrieved 6 May 2018. 
  6. ^ [1] Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields: Southern Nevada
  7. ^ Bellafante, Ginia (2008-02-11). "Feisty Birds of a Feather, No Chickens in Sight". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-02-29. 
  8. ^ "Documentary visits the Chicken Ranch". LA Times. Retrieved 18 December 2013. 
  9. ^ "AN UNVARNISHED LOOK AT LIFE IN A BROTHEL". Daily News (Los Angeles, CA) Daily News (Los Angeles, CA). Retrieved 18 December 2013. 

External linksEdit