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A Nevada brothel is providing escorts. Is that authorized amid COVID?

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Lance Gilman is on the phone at the old Mustang Ranch on June 24th, 2019 (Photo: Andy Barron / RGJ)

Brothels, nightclubs, day clubs, and adult entertainment venues are all closed due to the pandemic – but Nevada’s many coronavirus policies aren’t specifically aimed at escort services.

And at least one brothel owner in northern Nevada is taking advantage of the mistake.

Storey County’s world-famous Mustang Ranch brothel is back to offering escort services in early August, according to Gerald Antinoro, Storey County’s Sheriff.

“We can’t find anything that prohibits the operation of escort services,” Antinoro told the Reno Gazette Journal. “It’s an escort – there are no sex services.

The brothel itself is not open.

Governor Steve Sisolak’s May 28 policy states that day clubs, nightclubs, adult entertainment venues and brothels must remain closed. Subsequent guidelines have expanded that provision, Meghin Delaney, director of communications for the governor’s office, said in an email to the RGJ on Tuesday.

Delaney has not clarified whether the policy includes escort services.

Brothel owner Lance Gilman said he had an escort license with the Mustang Ranch for about 20 years.

“Escort services were never excluded (during the pandemic),” he said. Gilman said he based his decision in part on the fact that licenses continued to be issued in other counties, including Clark.

Clark County information officer Dan Kulin said in an email, “The county has not banned business licenses. However, as you know, there are some businesses that are closed and others have operating restrictions.”

Kulin also did not specifically say whether the county issued licenses for escort services.

The Storey County District Attorney’s Office cleared the ranch to reopen. District Attorney Anne Langer did not return any calls or emails to the RGJ.

The neighboring county of Lyon has four legal brothels, all of which have shut down since the governor issued his policy in March.

Jeff Page, Lyon district manager, said he doesn’t believe the governor’s COVID-19 restrictions will allow escort services to operate.

“I don’t think they can be frank. I’m not sure how to perform the duties of a prostitute with a mask and social distancing requirements, ”he said.

Storey County officials say the escorts do not do sex work, just camaraderie.

How to hire an escort

Lance Gilman’s son, Donny Gilman, submitted a business proposal to Storey County in May that set out the terms of the escort service. The business proposal was approved by the district attorney and sheriff.

According to the proposal, sex workers live on site in the new building of the brothel. Sex workers are allowed into the bar and restaurant of the brothel for dance performances, where they do not have to wear masks.

Customers can enter the restaurant and salon after being screened for coronavirus. Once inside, they can book an escort for outdated services. You will also need to sign a contract stating that there will be no sexual activity on the date.

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Mustang Ranch in Storey County offers escort services. The workers tweet about the services they offer. (Photo: Amy Alonzo / Reno Gazette Journal)

Antinoro confirmed that the sheriff’s office is monitoring the job cards of the “selected girls” who have returned to work at the Mustang Ranch, but has failed to explain how the workers are being monitored for coronavirus.

Austin Osborne, Storey County manager, said the sheriff’s office and state health department are monitoring workers’ health and enforcing hands-free regulations.

Amy Alonzo covers the Mason Valley and rural Nevada. Reach them at or (775) 741-8588. This is a great way to support ongoing reporting and local journalism.

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