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New safety measures in place at Mustang Ranch brothel in northern Nevada

Posted at 8:13 AM, Apr 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-27 13:45:39-04

Prostitution is legal in some parts of Nevada and now after being closed for more than a year a popular brothel in Reno is reopening this week.

"It's tough on all of our staff," says madam Jennifer Barnes.

The saying goes "sex sells," but not this past year at the world-famous Mustang Ranch.


"This business is not just about sex. This business is about caregiving, companionship, kindness being lovely, being tender, conversation. And, yeah, there's more to it also," Barnes said.

It's a legal business unique to Nevada.

Last summer the Mustang staff said it stepped up its safety plan and waited for the governor to give the red light industry the green light. But it never happened.

They've been shut down since March 15, 2020.

"May 1 is going to be a very important day for our ladies because a lot of our ladies have had no income. They have been living off their savings, which is now gone," Barnes said.

About 200 staff and independent contractors' paychecks stopped for more than a year.

"It not only hurts financially your family values, even your mental health and stability of what's next, how far can my savings carry me," Jennifer said.

Cleanliness, masks and temperature checks will be done just like any other bar and restaurant. And on May 1, it will be the same protocol for the rest of the Mustang Ranch.

The working women must also have a negative COVID test when they step on the property.

Plus there will now be a doctor on-site for the ladies' and the clients' safety.

"Our doctor, she'll be here five days a week and then on call seven days a week," said Burrows.

RELATED: Brothels near Las Vegas, legal sex workers prepare for reopening amid loosening restrictions

The governor is giving counties control for business reopening plans and the Mustang Ranch submitted their documents to Storey County "some time ago."

"We do believe that they can operate and be safe and will keep an eye on it and make sure they are continuing to follow their plan," said Austin Osborne, Storey County manager.

Some of the ladies said that since the business closed during the pandemic, they've been forced into illegal prostitution to make money putting their safety at risk.

Now, they'll be back at Mustang under the watchful eye of staff and the county's task force.

"Safety is number one, no matter what," Barnes said.