PHOENIX - The man who owns a well-known brothel in Nevada tells ABC15 he is submitting plans to Phoenix city leaders asking permission to open a similar business in the Valley, just in time for the Super Bowl.
"You say you want to stop sex trafficking, ok, I'm going to give you half a million dollars for a lab experiment," said Dennis Hof, who owns Nevada's Bunny Ranch.
Hof told ABC15 he is making the final touches on a proposal to open the brothel a month before the Super Bowl and then close it down a month after the Super Bowl.
"It would be called 'The Valley Of The Sun Bunny Ranch' and after that initial $500,000 up front, the city would take in additional tax dollars from me," said Hof during a phone interview. "I was raised in Phoenix, I know Phoenix well, it needs the money. I remember growing up working at a gas station near 24th and Van Buren, and prostitution was rampant then and is still a problem now."
Hof said he is looking for a failing hotel to set up shop.
"Something like 25 rooms or so, a bar, a restaurant, a lounge, a good safe place," Hof described. "I do background checks on all my girls, they get tested frequently, I will cut down on the pimps and the clients will not go to an illegal source for sex if they have a legal source."
Hof is already preparing for a fight, recognizing there are laws against the type of business he wants to operate.
"I think they [Phoenix city leaders] should look at this as an emergency measure, an experiment, we're only talking a couple of months here," Hof said. "Phoenix is one of the worst sex trafficking places in America and this will combat that."
Tuesday afternoon, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton had strong words for Hof and his proposal.
In a statement to ABC15, Stanton said, "There's no need to waste anyone's time with this idea. Mr Hof can keep his $500,000, and we'll keep Phoenix safe from human trafficking during the Super Bowl -- and the future."
Hof issued his own response to Stanton, sending the below letter on Wednesday:
July 9, 2014
Mayor Greg Stanton:
For any civic leader, curtailing criminal activity is a constant concern, and I know that as the leader of a population of 1.5 million people, you must be vigilant at all times against its’ scourge. As a former Phoenician myself, I would like to offer my personal resources and financial backing towards that effort at a time when the capital of Arizona is going to need it most.
When The Super Bowl is held in Phoenix in February of 2015, it will bring with it a potent wave of criminals from various corners of the offenders’ spectrum. Illegal prostitution and underage sex trafficking will lead the charge, as it does every year wherever The National Football League chooses to hold its’ annual championship game. Violent crimes are synonymous with the pimps who will set up shop all over your city, and disease will be prevalent with the untested and unregulated female victims that they keep under their brutal control.
Furthermore, while sex trafficking itself is a dangerous enterprise, its’ side effects can bring with it the added threats of robbery and even death. The NFL players themselves have not been immune to such fates, with charges of solicitation (Atlanta Falcons player Eugene Robinson arrested for solicitation at Super Bowl 33, the night before a game that he was actually playing in), and even homicide (Baltimore Ravens Ray Lewis charged with a double murder the following year at Super Bowl 34). The San Diego Union Tribune reports that last year’s off season arrest rate for NFL players is up 75% over the previous year, and with many of them making The Super Bowl the first stop on their off season schedule, this upward trend of dubiousness comes at the worst possible time for Phoenix and the safety of its’ citizens. Add to that the abundance of white collar criminals that are drawn to The NFL’s biggest annual stage at the behest of their corporate interests, and Phoenix will be opening itself up to a perfect storm of threats to its’ collective safety.
The only hope of combating the inevitable reality of illegal prostitution and all of the dangers that it brings with it would be to allow me, America’s foremost leader in legal prostitution with seven brothel licenses in the state of Nevada, to open a temporary location in your city for one month before and after the game takes place. When offered a choice, those who wish to patronize sex workers will elect for my safe, tested and regulated option of legal prostitution over that of the alternative risk of dealing in the criminal underworld where disease and assault are very real threats to any of its’ participants. Under the legal model, sex workers are licensed and subject to background checks, while also being checked for sexually transmitted diseases. The transactions take place in the light of day within specifically regulated and policed environments, rather than in darkened back alleys under shadowy circumstances.
Mr. Mayor, I am prepared to immediately provide the city of Phoenix with $500,000 to begin preparing a location, ideally in an existing hotel that has been closed, for a temporary Bunny Ranch legal brothel. In addition to there being no start up cost to incur on the part of the city, the revenue that my legal brothel will bring to Phoenix will be a windfall of tax dollars that will rival any other profit that will be realized during the event. I will make myself immediately available to work with Sheriff Joe Arpaio and County Attorney Bill Montgomery to insure that my temporary business presence in your city results in a positive contribution to what should be a spectacular opportunity to showcase Phoenix’s civic pride on a national stage.
Fifty years ago when I graduated high school there, illegal prostitution was rampant along Phoenix’s Van Buren Street. Now, the problem has actually risen to epidemic proportions with the help of websites like backpage.com It is a crisis that is only growing worse by the insistence on taking the same failed approaches to combating it, rather than new and innovative steps like the ones that I am suggesting.
I appeared this week on Arizona senator John McCain’s daughter Meghan’s TV show, and she told me that her mother Cindy (who is the Co-Chair of the Arizona Governor’s Task Force on Human Trafficking) is very committed to fighting sex trafficking in the Phoenix area. In fact, The McCain Institute at Arizona State University has dedicated resources to studying this phenomenon. Cindy McCain was recently quoted as saying “The McCain Institute is proud to invest in new research surrounding sex trafficking and large sporting events. A research based, greater understanding of how these networks are operating gives us all a better opportunity to combat human trafficking every day.” Meghan suggested to me that I would be a knowledgeable ally that could work with the McCain family in their pursuit.
On July 30th, I will be in the Phoenix area speaking to Summit Law School at a sex trafficking symposium being held there. I would be happy to meet with you and your staff while I am there.
I look forward to your response and the opportunity to work with you, giving back to a wonderful city that gave so much to me.
Owner, Moonlite BunnyRanch
Carson City, Nevada