LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Nevada's legal sex workers and brothels are preparing to reopen after COVID-19 forced an industry-wide shutdown for more than a year.
Beginning May 1, counties with legal prostitution can decide if the pay-for-sex industry within their borders can resume operation.
Nevada is the only state in the union which has heavily-regulated and legalized prostitution as long as the county population is less than 700,000 residents and permitted by local authorities.
"Thankfully, we'll be reopening on May 1 and I could not be more excited," said Alice Little, a legal sex worker in Nevada.
"The brothels have reached out to the ladies, I have a set date, my flight is booked and I'm already packing my bags," added Little.
Little is one of the highest-earning legal sex workers in Nevada. She says she brought in $1.2 million in 2019.
Little spoke to 13 Investigates in Oct. 2020 after her attorney filed a lawsuit against Gov. Steve Sisolak to force the reopening of the industry after a pandemic-related prohibition to slow the spread of COVID-19.
"Unfortunately, my lawsuit was not successful, however it demonstrated that the current set of legislation around the brothels needs to be updated to center the sex worker and give sex workers rights," said Little.
At the time, she worked at the Bunny Ranch in Lyon County, near Nevada's capitol of Carson City.
Now, Little is relocating to the Chicken Ranch which is the closest to Las Vegas. The brothel is approximately 70 miles away from Sin City in Nye County.
Nye County authorities have signaled brothels can open on May 1.
The requirements are mask-wearing still and then we're putting our own procedures in place, clients will come in they will have their temperature checked," said Madam Trudy who runs the Chicken Ranch.
Madam Trudy says clients will also be asked to fill out a questionnaire including where they have traveled and if they have experience symptoms of COVID-19.
She says staff are tested regularly for COVID-19, however clients will not be required to submit to a test or provide results.
"I think there's always going to be demand, pent-up demand, I think everyone's a little anxious to just get back to normal life, I am optimistic that in the next six months, we'll be back to where we were before March 2020 happened," added Madam Trudy.
Little says she has been contacted by clients and more appointments are being booked each day.
"I believe we are about to enter the true golden age of the roarin' 20s," said Little.
"We are going to embrace intimacy, sexuality, connection in ways that we haven't before, we're going to lean into leisure time, having fun, going to explore things, that's what Vegas was born to do," added Little.
Nevada's statewide social distancing requirement ends on May 1, seen as a key component for allowing the industry to resume operations.