According to George Flint, Director of the Nevada Brothel Owners' Association, revenue for the 25 businesses in his membership organization is down by as much as 45 percent. The reason: Sex for money may be recession resistant but it's not recession proof. "Business is in a lower slump than I've ever seen it before," Flint says.
In Nevada, the world's oldest profession has been very lucrative. In a typical year, legal brothels generate about $50 million in total revenue and have an economic impact of about $400 million on the state. But in the last 18 months the industry's cash flow has taken a dive. Why? Like other businesses around the country, bordellos throughout the state are feeling the pinch of rising gas prices and a weak economy.
Media exposure certainly has its benefits. Featured in the ongoing HBO reality series, Cathouse, Hof's Bunny Ranch is going strong. While others brothels saw a slump in revenues, Hof experienced a 30 percent jump in May. But he's not resting on his laurels. Last week he began offering a recession special: The first 100 customers who show up with their tax rebate checks receive twice the "services" for the price of one. "We always give our customers the most bang for the buck," he says. "You bring your $600 check in, and we give you the $1,200 George Bush party--three girls and a bottle of champagne." That's one way to stimulate the, um, economy.