Proposed brothel meets resistance in Storey County

A representative of the American Indian Movement said Tuesday he was pleased with the withdrawal of Crazy Horse as the proposed name of a Storey County brothel.

Speaking for the American Indian Movement, Paiute Indian and Carson City resident Rocky Boice Sr. objected to "Crazy Horse Resort and Spa" as a brothel name because it would be direspectful to a great chief.

Entrepreneur Lance Gilman and partner Susan Austin are seeking approval of a license to operate the brothel in Storey County. Gilman said he would pick a new name, but didn't yet know what it will be.

"Crazy Horse led many great battles and was well respected," Boice said. "Brothels shouldn't be named after great leaders, whether they're native or non-native. We believe it was an oversight and we feel it's our duty, in light of the situation, to call this to their attention.

An Oglala Sioux warrior in the late 19th century, Crazy Horse was a leader in the Indian resistance during the expansion of the American West and helped command the successful Sioux attack against Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer in the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876.

"We want to thank the Storey County commissioners, Lance Gilman and Susan Austin for their cooperation," Boice said.

About 31 acres in northern Storey County's river corridor has been earmarked for the new brothel, located on land that was once part of the McCarran Ranch.

Following an extensive background check, commissioners Wednesday approved Gilman as owner and operator. The investigation of Austin, who will manage the complex, has not begun.

According to Sheriff Pat Whitten, she has not submitted the background information or application fee. She is listed as the only resident agent for Asset Cash Management LLC, filed with the Secretary of State's Office on Nov. 20 of this year and completion of the background check is a must, according to Storey Commissioner Bob Kershaw.

"Anyone who operates and manages a brothel must be licensed and undergo a thorough background check," he said. "This will be the first brothel license to go forward under our new ordinance, which is comparable to what casinos go through with the gaming commission."

Created in fall 2000, the 14-page ordinance addresses everything from the powers of the licensing board to health examinations.

Associated licenses, including the liquor and room renting license must be in place in addition to plan reviews, building inspections and fire inspections for the proposed $2 million brothel.

Storey Commissioner Bob Kershaw said his phone has been ringing off the hook with people concerned about the effect on communities and businesses. He said these issues are important, but this isn't the first time this type of issue has surfaced.

Gilman withdrew an application for two brothels in Storey County in January 2001, citing pressure from neighboring business interests at Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center. The brothels were to be located along Interstate 80 a short distance from the center.

"There have been concerns about location, but this business is on 31 acres and removed from TRIC," said Commissioner Greg "Bum" Hess. "When we set the (industrial) park up, we excluded brothels to protect the park and the businesses from having brothels. This time, Mr. Gilman found property that won't be visible from the park."

A successful brothel can be an economic windfall for the county, often generating between $200,000 and $250,000 in room taxes annually, according to Kershaw.


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