September 12, 2014
C.J. Asher – This is C.J. Asher conducting an interview with Dennis Hof of the famous Moonlite Bunny Ranch. First of all Mr. Hof thank you and happy birthday! I’m very excited to be coming to your (birthday) party. Alright so recently I read your very powerful letter to Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. I was wondering if there’s been any follow-up, have you received a reply?
Dennis Hof – I was going to speak at a symposium in Phoenix and the attorney general, the city prosecutor, the sheriff and myself and we were just going to just get this all out in the open. What happened is, I got there and did a lot of television interview and then, four hours before it started, ASU, Arizona State University says, “you know what, there’s too many people, we can’t handle this, we can’t handle the security.” We went to the Phoenix Police Department and said “will you support this?” and they said “absolutely.” We went back to Arizona State and they said, “we don’t want Phoenix Police Department on our property,” even though it’s right in the heart of downtown Phoenix, so my guess is that Tom Horn, the attorney general, chickened out and pulled the plug on it. So, the reason for this… I grew up in Phoenix, and I worked on the main highway that went through there and, as a kid… sixteen, seventeen years old, watched the army of hookers there. Phoenix is one of the worst sex trafficking towns in America, along with Las Vegas and Oakland, California. I decided to challenge them and say the status quo doesn’t work. You either need to enforce your laws and stop the horrendous sex trafficking that’s going on there of underage girls… and they know they’ve got the problem, or look at legalization. They just went nuts because it’s a very conservative, ‘John McCain’ kind of place, Arizona. I was born there so I know it better than most. That’s where we’re at now, I’m going to push their buttons again next month again because the Super Bowl comes in January and the Pro Bowl and also the Phoenix Open Golf Tournament. As we’re getting closer and closer to October I’m going to start challenging them and going in front of the media. I’ve got a news station that wants to do an undercover sting operation with one of my girls where we set up in a hotel room and put some pictures of the girl online and let the people start calling and then when they come to the hotel challenging them. I’m having some fun with it but it’s something I’m taking very serious. On my tombstone, if you just put ‘best friend, fought sex trafficking and world’s greatest salesman,’ that’s all I need.
C.J. Asher – What do you feel, in today’s current social, economic and political landscape, are the major obstacles to legalizing prostitution in the United States?
Dennis Hof – Well, first of all let’s start with that prohibition doesn’t work. We proved that with liquor, what happened during liquor (prohibition)? Gangsters made a lot of money. Politicians who got paid off to look the other way made a lot of money. When they legalized it, it took the gangsters and the politicians out of the business. The liquor business now puts six billion dollars a year into the federal coffers for fees, the quality is regulated, the health aspects are regulated and the distribution is regulated. It works. You’re seeing the same thing with marijuana; it’s amazing how fast marijuana is moving (with regards to) legalization. Medical use, which of course ends up being recreational use. Now, why doesn’t that happen in the sex business, the oldest business in the world, where there’s an enormous amount of exploitation of women, sex trafficking of underage girls, disease rates are outrageous, drug usage is outrageous and these ruthless piece of shit pimps are just taking our children and ruining their lives. So why don’t they legalize? Because the politicians are such fucking hypocrites, they hate that one little old lady. They would rather enable these criminals to do business and these girls to be exploited than have that one little old Christian lady stand up and say ‘I don’t like this! I don’t like this!” They just won’t do it. As much as I push for legalization, I don’t know what it’s going to take because in Las Vegas I did an undercover piece with CNN. A reporter and I figured that there’s three hundred girls from eleven to sixteen being trafficked every day. It’s out of hand, so out of hand that the juvenile judges are keeping the young girls locked up, they’re treating them like criminals when they’re definitely not criminals, they’re victims. They’re doing that because the penalty for trafficking an underage girl in American now can be life in prison. Murder is life in prison, so the pimps will take the chance to murder the girl because they’re going to get convicted of the underage trafficking but once the girl’s dead they may be able to get off, they don’t have the evidence. I just don’t think it’s going to happen although it has to happen, something has to be done.
C.J. – What made you decide to become a brothel owner when you first got into the business?
Dennis Hof – Well, I’m like the Remington Razor guy, I liked the product so much I bought the company. I moved to Northern Nevada in ’76 and was in the gas station business, owned a bunch of gas stations and garages. I met a girl, started dating her and found out she was a working girl. Then she finally told me the truth after a few months, she told me that she was a ‘buyer’ for Macy’s gone three weeks out of the month and I want to date you when (I’m) home so we did that and finally she told me the truth, she worked here. She talked me into coming out here to look at it, she said ‘at least be open minded enough to take a look.’ I came out here, and the night I got out here I met Andy Kaufman; it was Andy Kaufman’s first night out here too. Well Andy was a huge celebrity, of course, which I loved… I love comedy, I love to come and I love to laugh. Orgasms and laughter are the best two things in America. Throw me a burger once in a while and I’m good. So Andy and I were here, treated special in a little back room area, me because I was a boyfriend and him because he was a celebrity so I hung around here and the more I hung around here, the more I said ‘well, this is pretty damn normal.’ About ’78 Kaufmann says “you know, Dennis, let’s buy this place and treat everybody like you and I are being treated.” Prostitution worldwide is typically run illegally and it’s (a) ‘get in, get out, get off and get the fuck out of here’ mentality. We like the social environment, because we could laugh and have fun with the girls much more than we could ejaculate. I mean, I can hang out with these girls forever but I can’t be fucking ‘em all day long so (Andy Kaufmann and I) just started putting together a game plan. I tried to buy it, couldn’t get it done. Kaufmann died in ’84. I kept the book, the game plan, kept working on it and in ’92 I had the opportunity to buy it, I bought it, put everything I had into it and went to work and I just looked at it as another marketing opportunity. What I did different than everybody else is the mentality in prostitution is that they treated it like it was illegal still because from the 1850’s to 1972 it was illegal. In the beginning of ’72 it was legalized, but the owners who were criminals were still in the business; they just took off their black hat and put on a white hat. They could not adapt to that; they still treated it like a criminal environment and it’s not like “hey, I’m going to tell the world, I’m going to go out there and I’m going to tell the world that it’s the right thing to do” and I did that and turned it into the most famous place in the world. All of the people that said “he’s a fucking square, it will never work, he doesn’t like drugs, he doesn’t like pimps, he’s a square, it will never work.” Well, I own all those places now. I own seven places in Nevada, I bought every one of these loud-mouthed fucks businesses, I broke ‘em and then I bought their business for twenty cents on the dollar. I’m just, I’m doing it right… we make it fun.
C.J. Asher – You’re obviously a very successful businessman, entrepreneur. What advice would you have for any young entrepreneurs who are looking to get into the entertainment industry? Not just necessarily prostitution or adult entertainment, but from all of your years of business experience what advice would you give to a young entrepreneur who is just starting out?
Dennis Hof – The best advice I could give is to treat it like a main stream business. Don’t hide from things; just because you’re in the adult business don’t let people look down on you, don’t let people treat you any different and don’t worry about what they say, what they think, it just doesn’t matter. I just put it out there: I open the door to the media, I’m very friendly to the media, everybody from 20/20 to the Today Show to (Bill) O’Reilly, (Sean) Hannity, Hannity’s been here, I do a lot of media. It’s hard work, generally accepted business and accounting practices which typically adult businesses don’t do; they’re more of an underground type of business. They all get caught for tax evasion, money laundering. Look at all of the big entrepreneurs that went down over money laundering; the guys from Crazy Horse Too I think it is and Michael Peters got in trouble for it. If you’re going to treat it like a business, make it a fun, fun environment. The girls want to laugh, they want to giggle, they want to have a great time. All we are is a commissioned sales business. The product is a little different because it’s a service instead of a product and it’s fun girls having a great time. When the girls are having fun, when the customers are having fun, the cash register’s ringing.
C.J. Asher – If you could have one female celebrity, be a working girl at one of your ranches, maybe even just for one night, who would you love to have here and why?
Dennis Hof – There’s only one: Kelly Bundy. Kelly Bundy, man, guys would line up to fuck that little tramp. Everybody loved Kelly Bundy, show me a guy who doesn’t love Kelly Bundy and I’ll show you a guy who needs to tune his head up. Hot, smoking hot, I loved her, I just loved her! You know, of course she’s not a celebrity although she’s very famous and it’s a persona, but that’s a girl who would have fun, she’d have fun, she’d be great here.
C.J. Asher – Over the years any regrets? Anything you’d do differently?
Dennis Hof – The regret that I have is that I didn’t get into the adult business earlier. That’s probably it, I mean all of my decisions have been good. We’ve had our ups and our downs and gone through the trials and tribulations of any business. Our business model works, we stick with it and we don’t worry about competition. We don’t feel like we have any competition and in 2008 when the world fell apart I got all the girls together, flew them in from all over the country, there’s a couple of hundred girls here and had a special meeting and said “turn off the television, fuck Hannity, fuck O’Reilly, fuck all the nay-sayers, I’m going to tell you what Roosevelt said to my parents: The only fear is fear itself. If you’re fear’s that we’re not going to be successful and we’re not going to make it and you need to get up and leave right now ‘cause I’m going to work harder than I’ve ever worked to get in the media’s eye, to bring attention to this. You take better care of your clients, you might have to give them a little more bang for their buck but you take care of the clients and we’ll succeed. We not only succeeded, the adult business in Nevada, gaming, liquor, girls, has always been good through every recession, not this one. This is as close to a depression as you’re going to get. Gaming’s off 30%, alcohol sales are off like 40% and the brothel business is off 50 to 70% (according to) different brothel reports. We didn’t size down, we didn’t do anything except go for it. In a terrible economy we thrived. I bought (the Moonlite Bunny Ranch) in 1992, bought the Love Ranch in 1997. The Love Ranch stayed the same, status quo right through the depression. The Bunny Ranch had a five to ten percent increase EVERY year, increase in business which gave me the money to go and buy the places that were failing. We work hard; this ain’t your daddy’s little cathouse. Kaufmann said it best: “Dennis Hof’s World Famous Moonlite Bunny Ranch (it was The Moonlite Ranch, we added ‘Bunny’): not just sex, an adventure.” It’s now more about the adventure than it is about the sex. The sex is to be expected; the quality of the sex is to be expected. It’s about the adventure: hanging around here, smoking a cigar, talking to the girls on the HBO show. A lot of these girls are celebrities, Air Force Amy, the most famous working girl in the world. Brooke Taylor, Caressa Kisses, the list goes on. It’s about hanging around here, the tourist buses come in here now. People always come in, get their picture taken with me every day. It’s about having fun, we are a theme park here.
C.J. Asher – Awesome! Mr. Hof, thank you very much for your time. I just wanted to say, I greatly admire you, the work you’ve done and for making the world a better and safer place.
Dennis Hof – Thank you and there’s no business like ho business!