Thursday, May 8, 2003

Adam Goldman

Aussie firm wants to build megabrothel near Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS — Australian brothel owner Daily Planet says it intends to bring its racy know-how to Nevada in a big way.

The company is scouting a location for a new entertainment complex to be called "Metropolis City." It's slated to include a 50-room brothel, hotel, nightclub, strip club, pool and airstrip.

"It will be a resort," said Andrew Harris, Daily Planet's chief executive officer. "The only difference being the girls will be available. We intend to build a proper oasis. A really spectacular destination point."

Harris said he would like to begin construction in September after he's put together a financing package. He estimated the project would cost between $50 million and $75 million.

Harris added the brothel would be close to Las Vegas, perhaps in Pahrump, bout 60 miles away. Harris said he would likely buy a brothel in the area and replace it with his megamodel.

"There is no other destination point in the world that has 35 million visitors," he said of Las Vegas. "We have always lustfully looked at Nevada."

The Daily Planet earlier this month launched an initial public offering of a brothel on the Melbourne Stock Exchange. The company hired former Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss as a paid consultant and spokeswoman.

Fleiss, a convicted felon, said she would not be financially involved in the Nevada project. She was released from prison in 1999 after serving 21 months. She was convicted in California of money laundering, tax evasion and attempted pandering.

Felons are not allowed to own or operate brothels in Nevada.

She said she would only lend her "innate" expertise in developing the brothel. Harris said she would have no legal association with the bordello.

"I'm going to tell them how to make the best brothel," Fleiss said. "It has to be marble palaces, rose gardens— plush.

Harris predicted he'll have no problem attracting enough "working girls" to handle the brisk business he expects.

"The girls will flock to us all over America because they can earn so much money in such an opulent environment," he said.

Harris said he'll employ his company's business plan: "You treat your girls like princesses."

There are 28 licensed brothels operating in 10 of Nevada's 17 counties. The state Health Division estimates 365,000 sex acts are performed in Nevada's brothels annually, or 1,000 a day. About 12 of those brothels are considered more than just mom-and-pop businesses, said Geoff Arnold, president of the Nevada Brothel Association.

Arnold said he welcomes the investment, but worries about the public exposure the Aussie plan will bring.

"It won't be as easy as they think," he said. "They will run into the political realities of the industry in Nevada. Traditionally, the industry has been low key and out of sight. Most owners try to keep their head below the sagebrush."

Arnold said some things had not changed, even with the addition of better financed brothels in the state that have drawn national attention.

"I still think that is the proper position for the industry," he said. "We have to safeguard the industry. Being high profile is dangerous."

Harris has no worries.

"We don't want to upset the apple cart," he said. "We are not going to come in and upset the landscape. We will build a whopper out there and a lot of cash will come into the industry. It will help the entire industry."

On the Net: Daily Planet

Copyright 2003 AP

[USA 2003] [News by region] [News by topic]

Created: May 9, 2003
Last modified: May 9, 2003
CSIS Commercial Sex Information Service
Box 3075, Vancouver, BC V6B 3X6
Tel: +1 (604) 488-0710