Running a local business is hard, especially when you have other commitments. For Dennis Hof, that means keeping his Nevada brothels afloat while also campaigning for political office — or not. Hof — a Republican who credited his June primary win for state lawmaker to none other than President Donald Trump — failed to apply on time for a liquor license renewal or pay the fees necessary to keep his infamous brothel, the Love Ranch, running, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. As a result, lawmakers voted to permanently remove his license Tuesday.
The brothel, located in Crystal about an hour drive from Las Vegas, has sparked fervor and an anti-brothel push in Nye County, which hasn’t permanently yanked a license in more than a decade, according to the Review-Journal.
The local sheriff was set to head over to the Love Ranch and close up shop herself before Hof said he wouldn’t allow deputies on his property, the Associated Press reported. Once the sheriff got a warrant, she seized the licenses and the required work cards from the sex workers.
A blog posted to Hof’s campaign website called the county’s actions a witch hunt and political payback. The post states that a brothel license has to be renewed every three months and that the forms and invoice for the Love Ranch were mailed to Hof late. “Without doubt, this action by these three unhinged, rogue commissioners was nothing but pure petty revenge,” the post reads. “There was no danger to the community.There was no willful attempt to circumvent the law.”
The Love Ranch made headlines in 2015 after former NBA player Lamar Odom was found unconscious there and rushed to the hospital. Meanwhile, Hof gained attention for starring in the HBO show “Cathouse.” Hof has said that if he wins, he’ll offer liquor and shoulder massages to those who come to visit him in Carson City. He’ll also downsize some of his brothel holdings, according to the AP. (The state doesn’t publicize how many are open, but Hof had said previously that he owned a half-dozen.) Hof can appeal the closure, according to the AP. But this isn’t his first time running into logistics-related issues. Nye County temporarily suspended Hof’s license in February after he didn’t produce permits for renovations to the trailer homes where sex workers work.
Additionally, county officials alleged in 2017 that his sex workers didn’t produce proper work permits or medical records, although those allegations were later dropped, according to the AP. And in January, Hof and two others sued a county commissioner for defamation.
After winning the Republican primary battle against three-term incumbent James Oscarson, Hof became the favorite to capture the state’s red-leaning Assembly District 36.
“It’s all because Donald Trump was the Christopher Columbus for me,” Hof told a reporter after election results rolled in Tuesday night, according to the Associated Press. “He found the way, and I jumped on it.”
Cover image: Dennis Hof, owner of the Moonlite BunnyRanch, a legal brothel near Carson City, Nevada, walks in a courthouse hallway during a break in the trial of Denny Edward Phillips and Russell Lee Hogshooter, in Oklahoma City, Monday, June 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)