Brothels of Ely, Nevada
Ely is the first town you come to when going northeast out of Las Vegas that have licensed brothels. It was once a thriving mining town but is now a quiet city with a large main street that runs through the center of town that’s lined with older buildings and casinos. The two brothels, The Stardust Ranch and Big Four Ranch, are surprisingly right off of the main street drag, but tucked away in a western corner of town. One of the ladies I spoke with said that even though the houses are in town, they are in an area that people would know what you were doing on this side of town if they saw you driving through since the street dead ends not too far past the Big Four Ranch. I was unsure from looking online as to which brothels were still in operation in Ely, but found that two are currently open and definitely the third, the Green Lantern Brothel, is closed but for sale. I didn’t realize how many brothels along the way would be dressed up mobile homes or manufactured homes pieced together, but the two in Ely are actual brick and mortar buildings.
There was something about the darkness of the night and the bright red lights at both houses that were reflecting off of the ice on the ground that I liked visually. It really gave me the sense of the old western town that still had it’s brothels in town, though tucked away, like it was originally a hundred years ago.