The Moonlite BunnyRanch (often misspelled Moonlight, though that is the correct spelling of the road on which it is addressed) is a legal, licensed brothel in Mound House, Nevada, United States, 6 miles (10 km) east of Carson City. The ranch is owned and operated by Dennis Hof. The Love Ranch (previously known as the BunnyRanch Two), a separately licensed brothel, is located about a mile south of the Moonlite BunnyRanch, near two other brothels (the Kit Kat Guest Ranch and the Sagebrush Ranch).
The brothel, now known as the Moonlite BunnyRanch, first opened in 1955 as the Moonlight Ranch. There is a historical marker on the premises, found just inside of the property's original main gate, as the ranch is located near a stop on the original Pony Express. It operated discreetly until 1970, when Nevada began regulation of houses of prostitution. Dennis Hof, a frequent customer, purchased the business in 1993 for $700,000 and invested another $500,000 in upgrading the facilities and decor.
Dennis Hof subsequently purchased another nearby brothel, then known as Madame Kitty's Fantasy Ranch, located about one mile (1.6 km) away. To better capitalize on the BunnyRanch brand name, he rechristened it BunnyRanch Two in 2004. Hof has since renamed this establishment. As of June 2008 it became known as The Love Ranch.
Jesse Ventura, former professional wrestler and Governor of Minnesota, wrote in his 1999 autobiography I Ain't Got Time to Bleed that he visited the Bunny Ranch in the 1970s, had sex there, and received $10 in return for his Navy SEAL belt.
In February 2009, a new main entrance to the Moonlite BunnyRanch with direct access to U.S. 50 opened to traffic. Constructed by the Nevada Department of Transportation as a business access road, the new street was officially named BunnyRanch Boulevard by Lyon County.
In early 2009, due to the recession, State Sen. Bob Coffin (D) proposed legalizing prostitution statewide for tax purposes. Hof was prominently featured in a number of media reports saying he would expand into Las Vegas given the opportunity. However, the Nevada lawmakers refused to consider the proposal of statewide legal prostitution during that legislative session.
The Moonlite Bunny Ranch was featured on HBO's America Undercover show specials, Cathouse (2002) and Cathouse 2: Back in the Saddle (2003). This led to the series Cathouse: The Series, airing in two seasons in 2005 and 2007. The ranch was also featured as a supposedly "haunted house" in an episode of Proof Positive and is frequently mentioned on the Howard Stern Show, usually to announce that another porn star has started to work there.
In 2008, Moonlite BunnyRanch prostitute Brooke Taylor was featured in the web series "Who's Sleeping with Your Husband", speaking candidly about the reasons she believes men visit brothels and revealing the most popular menu items.
Over the past few years various websites have popped up allowing men to rate and review their experiences with the ladies of Moonlite Bunny Ranch (among others).
In the 2013 Two and a Half Men episode "Cows Prepare to Be Tipped", Jake suggests going to the ranch on a road trip to the Grand Canyon. Later, Berta suggests the same thing.
A promotion in June 2008, during the Late-2000s financial crisis, stated that the first 100 clients to bring their U.S. Federal Stimulus Check to the BunnyRanch, in order to cash, would receive double the amount of the check on their Ranch Pleasure Party. “You get a check from Mr. Bush & spend it on BunnyRanch Bush!” Dennis Hof, owner. A Thank You Card when signed by 100 clients (and the Bunnies) would then be sent to President George Bush at The White House.
In September 2008, a 22-year-old woman calling herself Natalie Dylan announced on The Howard Stern Show that she would auction off her virginity on the BunnyRanch website, and that the act would be consummated at the ranch. While Dylan's sister had worked at the Bunny Ranch two years prior, Dylan insisted her sibling had nothing to do with her decision, saying "My sister definitely didn't pressure me into doing this". A recent women's studies graduate from Sacramento State, Dylan planned to use the money to finance graduate school and said "I feel empowered because I am being pro-choice with my body." She retained the right to reject the winner of the auction and pick another bidder, claiming that several bids had exceeded $1 million. Dennis Hof was to receive half of the winning bid.[dead link] A news report in May 2010 suggested that the episode may have been a hoax, although Hof insisted it was not. It also appears that the transaction was never consummated, as Hof stated: "It didn't work out, but she still made $250,000 out of the deal."