Wildhorse likely Mustang Ranch buyer

The Wildhorse Canyon Ranch and Spa brothel in Storey County apparently is the purchaser of the buildings and rights to the Mustang Ranch from the Bureau of Land Management.

A spokeswoman for the Wildhorse neither confirmed nor denied the purchase. "No comment," Susan Austin said Tuesday.

However, a letter from BLM to the Storey County sheriff indicates the highest bidder for the ranch was a Storey brothel owner other than Old Bridge Ranch owner David Burgess. The Wildhorse is the only other brothel in the county.

"We are in the process of confirming that the trademark will be sold to another Storey County brothel owner, who will receive the rights to the Mustang Ranch name," according to the letter signed by John Singlaub. "The county therefore may receive tax receipts from Mustang Ranch brothel at the new location."

The buildings for the Mustang Ranch were purchased Thursday on e-Bay for $145,100 by an unidentified buyer.

Attorney Lara Pearson attended Tuesday's commissioner meeting, representing Burgess and Troy Regas in their request to change the name of the Old Bridge Ranch to the Mustang Ranch.

"We heard that they wanted to table it, and we accept that rather than argue with it," she said. "My clients have been the first ones to file in Storey County."

Pearson said the owners of the Old Bridge Ranch disagree with the federal government on who owns the name.

"I told the commissioners we hoped they won't weigh someone else's arguments more heavily than ours," she said. "One of the commissioners told us that the next time we come back, we should have a court order, so we have our marching orders."

A July 2 letter from attorney Alf W. Brandt argues the government's order of forfeiture did give it the right to sell off the property belonging to brothel owner Joe Conforte for unpaid income taxes.

However, Brandt says the order did not include the trademark, trade name or fictitious name of the "Mustang Ranch."

According to Brandt, the names Mustang Ranch and Mustang Bridge Ranch were reserved since 1972 by James and Joseph Peri, the original property owners.

Brandt wrote that neither Conforte nor his successors in interest ever had the rights to the name and were merely licensees of the Peris.


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