Chicken Ranch (Nevada)

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Chicken Ranch
Chicken Ranch, June 2007
Chicken Ranch, June 2007
Chicken Ranch is located in Nevada
Chicken Ranch
Chicken Ranch
Location in Nevada
Address10511 Homestead Road
LocationPahrump, Nevada
Coordinates36°04′24.7″N 115°57′23.45″W / 36.073528°N 115.9565139°W / 36.073528; -115.9565139Coordinates: 36°04′24.7″N 115°57′23.45″W / 36.073528°N 115.9565139°W / 36.073528; -115.9565139
Capacity14 rooms

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.

Approximately 60 courtesans call the Chicken Ranch "home" with around 12 to 15 women living and working there at any time. The women often stay for at least 2 weeks at a time.

The ladies are independent contractors and set their own prices and menu of services. Due to Nye County ordinances, solicitation cannot be done outside of the house of the brothel.[2]

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.[3] It remains the closest brothel to Las Vegas.[4]

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.[5] 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.[6]

In 1978, the Chicken Ranch was burned to the ground, allegedly by arsonists. Plankinton reopened with a new set of trailers 5 days later.

In 1982, Plankinton sold the Chicken Ranch for $1,250,000 to Kenneth Green,[7] 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.[8]

Chicken Ranch Airport was an airstrip on premises which allowed small planes to land at the brothel.[9] Pictures from 1994 show the airstrip was closed by this time.

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

Books, movies, TV shows, music[edit]

Don Stadterman was a chauffeur for the Chicken Ranch Brothel in Nevada for seven years. His book, Ride With Me To The Chicken Ranch Brothel is about the men he drove to the brothel and the ladies who worked there. Jeanie Kasindorf's book Nye County Brothel Wars (Linden Press/Simon & Schuster 1985) describes the opposition Plankinton encountered in Nye County.[citation needed]

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 sex workers there.[10][11][12]

The Chicken Ranch was the location for Orville Peck's video "Dead of Night". Women from the Chicken Ranch were featured throughout the video and thanked by Orville Peck at the end of the video.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Levitan, Corey (2008-07-07). "Stark Raving Madam". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 2008-07-07.
  2. ^ "Sterling Codifiers, Inc". Retrieved 2018-06-04.
  3. ^ Jeanie Kasindorf. Nye County Brothel Wars, Linden Press/Simon & Schuster, 1985
  4. ^ "What Brothel is Closest to Las Vegas?". Nevada Brothels (in American English). 2018-10-07. Retrieved 2018-10-07.
  5. ^ "Back Then". Pahrump Valley Times. February 1, 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-07-09.
  6. ^ Nye County v. Plankinton, 94 Nev. 739, 587 P.2d 421 (1978)
  7. ^ "For some reason, buyers don't flock to Chicken Ranch". Las Vegas Review-Journal (in American English). 2007-07-09. Retrieved 2021-06-03.
  8. ^ McCracken, Bob (2 January 2015). "Life inside the early days of the Chicken Ranch". Pahrump Valley Times. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  9. ^ [1] Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields: Southern Nevada
  10. ^ Bellafante, Ginia (2008-02-11). "Feisty Birds of a Feather, No Chickens in Sight". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-02-29.
  11. ^ Lloyd, Robert (2008-02-04). "Documentary visits the Chicken Ranch". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 18 December 2013.
  12. ^ "An Unvarnished Look at Life in a Brothel". Daily News (Los Angeles, CA). 2008-02-04. Archived from the original on 2014-06-10. Retrieved 18 December 2013.
  13. ^ "Chicken Ranch Brothel Location For Music Video". Nevada Brothels. 2019-01-18. Retrieved 2019-01-20.

External links[edit]