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The Chicken Ranch is a legal, licensed brothel located about 60 miles (97 km) west of Las Vegas near the town of Pahrump, in Nye County, at 10511 Homestead Road. The 17 bed brothel sits on 40 acres (16 ha) of land. A separate building, connected to the main house by a breezeway, contains three extensively decorated, themed "bungalows" catering to those customers wishing a more luxurious experience.
The ranch also houses the Leghorn Bar. The bar has a separate entrance for customers not wishing to enter the brothel parlor.
The initial location of the Chicken Ranch was inside the town limits of Pahrump, where prostitution was illegal. Plankinton was arrested and found guilty of violating the town's laws. He moved the brothel to a new location within Nye County, but outside of town limits. After lengthy appeals he served 60 days in jail in 1981.
Nye County did not require brothels to be licensed in 1976, and three other brothels operated legally in the county at the time. Nevertheless, officials circulated a petition opposing the Chicken Ranch and then tried to close it down as a "public nuisance per se". The resulting court case reached the Nevada Supreme Court, which ruled in Plankinton's favor in 1978.
In 1978, the Chicken Ranch was burned to the ground, allegedly by arsonists. The twelve prostitutes and two employees barely survived. Plankinton reopened with a new set of trailers 5 days later.
In 1982, Plankinton sold the Chicken Ranch for $1,000,000 to Kenneth Green, a San Francisco businessman. Green hired Russel Reade, a friend and ex-teacher, as manager.
Chicken Ranch Airport was closed in 2004.
On February 8, 2006, the ranch accepted a purchase offer for $5.2 million.
Jeanie Kasindorf's book Nye County Brothel Wars (Linden Press/Simon & Schuster 1985) describes the opposition Plankinton encountered in Nye County.