Nevada Appeal at 150: June 6, 1973: Topless ordinance urged by Storey district attorney

This continues the Appeal’s review of news stories and headlines during its Sesquicentennial year.

June 6, 1973

Citing the problems involved in total prohibition of topless bars, illicit sex shows and x-rated movie houses, Storey County Dist. Atty. Virgil Bucchianeri urged Storey County leaders to adopt an ordinance that would allow those businesses only within the confines of a brothel.

Bucchianeri told the commission, before a unanimous vote adopted the ordinance, that if the operations were to be totally prohibited by the county, legal entanglements could involve the county in a lengthy court case to decide the constitutionality of operation. Under a current interpretation of the law by the United States Supreme Court, licensing counties have the right to regulate the operations.

The measure prohibits businesses such as illicit sex shows from being installed within the Virginia City Historical District, which was one of the prime reasons the measure was brought about. Leaders have been concerned about the image of Storey County since stories appeared in a magazine last year about corruption within county government. The story alleged Storey County leaders were involved in shady dealings with brothel owner Joe Conforte.

Bucchianeri told the commissioners in suggesting the adoption, that he didn’t feel an operation involving x-rated movies, topless bars and illicit sex shows has any business within the boundaries of the historic district.

The ordinance stipulates that such operations may become established within Storey County only if they acquire a brothel license, which is currently $25,000 per year. Storey leaders have noted the cost of a brothel license is much more than most businesses of that type are willing to pay to become operational.

Storey leaders have been concerned about Lyon County operations in the Mound House area possibly establishing themselves within the confines of the historic district. The operations, within a few miles of the historic district and Carson City, include a topless bar and an x-rated movie house.


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