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Chicken Ranch to Change Hands

Nevada- There soon could be a new ruler of the roost at Southern Nevada’s most famous brothel.

The Chicken Ranch on the outskirts of Pahrump, 60 miles west of Las Vegas, is being sold to a man with ties to the brothel industry in Northern Nevada and financial backing from a family that owns strip clubs in Las Vegas and across the country.

For the reported purchase price of $5.2 million, the new owners will get the 17-bed, 17-bath bordello and the 40 acres surrounding it.

The Chicken Ranch has been on the market since June 2004, when owner Kenneth Green announced his plans to list it for $6.95 million.

That price included “all furniture, furnishings and equipment,” the brothel’s Web sites and full rights to its name and logo: a pair of legs with red high heels hatching from a chicken egg.

Green declined to comment on the details of the deal. He referred questions to George Flint, a lobbyist for Nevada’s brothel industry.

Reached by phone at his Reno wedding chapel, Flint identified one of the prospective buyers as Michael Fellen, a college graduate who for 20 years has tended bar and worked as a manager in the brothels his family owns in Northern Nevada.

“Michael’s a good guy,” Flint said. “I’ve known him since he was a teenager. He’s been around the brothel industry for a long time.”

Flint said Fellen’s uncle is David Burgess, a high-ranking member of the Hells Angels and owner of the Old Bridge Ranch brothel in Mustang, about 10 miles east of Reno.

Fellen, who also referred questions to Flint, is being backed by Jason Mohney, who owns a stake in several strip clubs in New Orleans.

The Mohney family’s strip club empire includes Little Darlings and Deja Vu in Las Vegas and clubs in 15 other states, Canada and France.

Flint said Fellen and Mohney have hired him to review their application for a brothel license in Nye County.

“It’s not a done deal yet. They still have to go through the licensing process,” Flint said.

All prospective owners of brothels in Nye County must undergo a criminal and financial background check and have their license applications approved by the Nye County Commission and sheriff, who serve as the county’s liquor and licensing board.

“I expect them to be very nitpicky on this one,” Flint said. “I think they’re going to be very thorough.”

He said the soonest he expects the new owners to file their license application is late March or early April.

The new owner will have to enter into new deals with the women now under contract at the Chicken Ranch, which is one of two legal bordellos carefully located just a few feet outside Pahrump’s southern boundary.

Brothels are prohibited inside the town limits but are legal elsewhere in Nye County.

Green bought the Chicken Ranch in 1982 after reading a cryptic ad in The Wall Street Journal for a business that was “profitable” and “legal in Nevada.”

The pharmacist-turned-real-estate investor ended up paying $1.25 million for the collection of four double-wide mobile homes and the 40 acres of empty desert around it.

Over the years, Green has built around the mobile homes, adding a bar, three bungalows for high rollers, a Victorian facade, an upgraded swimming pool, and a new front parlor, where patrons go to see lineups and choose their women.

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