Closing up shop

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I'm not sure whether this column falls under the topic of adventure travel or not. Maybe it's really an obituary.

Next week, Storey County, Nev., will bid a final farewell to the legendary Mustang Ranch, the nation's first legal house of ill repute.

The bordello's ignominious demise is perhaps a fitting end to its bawdy history. Original owner Joe Conforte, currently on the lam in South America, has been accused of illegally setting up a dummy company to front the business after he lost it for taxes in 1992. Federal agents will seize the property on Monday.

With the Ranch gone, only one brothel remains open in Storey County, the Old Bridge Ranch, and it just filed for bankruptcy. Local residents, at least the ones who are talking, say good riddance to bad rubbish. The city fathers, however, are wondering how they're going to plug the $200,000 tax leak the county coffers will spring as a result of the closures.

Maybe they should consider some kind of a theme park.

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