Recession hits the brothel business

One Nevada madam says clients no longer have as much money to spend, and she worries about the fiscal cliff negotiations in Washington.

By Kim Peterson Nov 29, 2012 1:01PM
The world's oldest profession took a hit during the recession as customers were forced to cut back on their, uh, entertainment expenses. But just when a recovery seemed under way, even prostitution has become a victim of the fiscal cliff, CNBC reports.

In this video, the madam who runs the famous Mustang Ranch brothel in Nevada says business has been better. Susan Austin thought prostitution would be recession-proof, but that didn't happen.
"When a lot of my high rollers all of a sudden discovered they didn't have the discretionary income and they couldn't play as hard as they used to, well that definitely dug into their wallets which definitely affected us," she told CNBC's Jane Wells.Image: Couple holding hands (Corbis/Corbis)

The company doesn't count prostitutes among its employees. Instead, the prostitutes work as independent contractors that negotiate prices with customers and then pay Mustang Ranch a commission, Wells reports. If customers decide to use one of the larger, nicely decorated suites, it can add $1,000 to their bill.

The Ranch has been forced to drop prices on its "Pleasure Menu." And though it's tough to imagine the fiscal cliff being a top conversation topic there, Austin seems to be worried about the potential of higher taxes and a heavier burden on the rich that the fiscal cliff may bring.

"Anything that happens in Washington affects everybody in the United states," she said. "It's going to trickle down to me sooner or later. So it's definitely going to hurt me in the end."

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Nov 29, 2012 3:38PM
I thought the World's Oldest Profession was being a deadbeat in Washington leeching off of the public dime while wasting the nation's time.

Congress never had the ability to fix us. They are the problem, not authors of solution.

Nov 29, 2012 2:49PM
This is awful! Support America go rent a ho.
Nov 29, 2012 4:12PM

Difference between a hooker and a lawyer/politican?

Hooker can't phuck a dead man.

Nov 29, 2012 1:22PM
Know what they say----No MONEY--NO HONEY!
Nov 29, 2012 3:34PM
With fewer customers you would think she would be "hurt in the end" a little less often...
Nov 29, 2012 5:26PM
I'm guessing the price of going down is going up!
Nov 29, 2012 2:18PM
Now if the clown's in DC could only abide by that saying....
Nov 29, 2012 5:31PM

Tell the prostitutes to move to Washington DC. I'm sure they will find an abundance of lucrative business doing in-House calls.

Nov 29, 2012 5:42PM
"Anything done in Washington will eventually hurt me in the end."  No truer words have ever been spoken!
Nov 29, 2012 3:14PM
It's a sad day in hell when a rich man can't afford a whore!  That's why they need a tax cut. Now I know what types of jobs the rich are starting up.  
Nov 29, 2012 5:31PM

I guess the term spreading the wealth means something different there.


If only they would legalize prostituion and pot.  Major tax revenue.

Nov 29, 2012 5:50PM
In this economy people want more bang for their bucks.
Nov 29, 2012 5:55PM
how do u compete with the whores in Wash.
Nov 29, 2012 5:14PM
Hurt her in the END. Hmmm.  Thought she was into that stuff....
Nov 29, 2012 2:22PM
Thank God for Harry Reid. He has saved the country and if he lives long enough he will be President. Just think of all the money he got for Nevada for the Yucca Mountain project and then bailed out. What a shrewd man. He sure knows how to work the federal system and bring home the bacon to his home state. Now ya talkin prostitute man!!
Nov 29, 2012 4:51PM
They aren't coming to Vegas, so they aren't coming at The Bunny Ranch. Plus, everything you want to see is available a few clicks away.
Nov 29, 2012 5:54PM

My vote does to the madame from the ranch. Lets run her for president  in 2016.. Maybe she can straighten out DC..LOL

Nov 29, 2012 5:51PM

Demand hasn't changed.  Supply has probably gone up.  The market is allways right, isn't that true free marketers?


So time to drop prices, and hold a black friday sale.  See if business picks up.  Try outsourcing.  Perhaps lobby for trade restrictions on premarital relations.


Seriously, I doubt the "Fiscal Cliff" has anything to do with this.  They call it the oldest profession for a reason.  As the realtors say, "when the price is right, the house will sell".

Nov 29, 2012 6:09PM
Somehow a woman managing a brothel seriously talking about economic hard times "trickling down" to have an impact on the Ranch and fiscal cliff  problems "hurting in the end" makes me laugh out loud.  Not quite LMAO, but more than a small chuckle.
Nov 29, 2012 5:36PM

It's a sad day in hell when a rich man can't afford a whore!  That's why they need a tax cut. Now I know what types of jobs the rich are starting up.


So tell, Einstein, which "poor man" signs your paycheck?  Or do you even have a job?

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