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 8:03PM
at least the price of the good stuff is coming down lo!
Nov 29, 2012 8:02PM
the economy is not the only thing that shrunk.
Nov 29, 2012 7:55PM
thats way they call it a chicken ranch lol ,  here a chick there chick lol.
Nov 29, 2012 7:42PM
why is this news and who cares?  This story just is nothing
Nov 29, 2012 7:36PM
Yes it will hurt you in your
Nov 29, 2012 7:35PM
Obviously, this is an industry that is too big to fail. I am sure there will be a bailout.
Nov 29, 2012 7:34PM
Stand in line sweet heart, your not the only business getting screwed by bo and his gang.
Nov 29, 2012 7:32PM
oh dear..the "high rollers" don;t have enough $$$ right now..that is a shame..tell those
girls to get a  real job...that is right ......!get a real job folks !!

Nov 29, 2012 7:32PM
the owner doesn't care he just got elected to state office   yea for the politicians in the  u.s
Nov 29, 2012 7:31PM

Hahahahaha Oh Boy maybe im childish... But I lost it when she said the trickle down would eventually hurt her "in the end"

Nov 29, 2012 7:28PM
All industries believe, and even boast, that they are "recession proof".  The truth is, no business is recession proof.
Nov 29, 2012 7:25PM
So the rich really are "job creators" . . . it's just a different type of job than the one I was thinking.

It all makes sense now.

Nov 29, 2012 7:17PM
Fortunately the product being sold has a twenty year shelf life.
Nov 29, 2012 6:53PM
Maybe the hookers could do something like a Sex Maintenance Org where each hooker web cams to a dozen Johns doing mostly self-serve and then she gives them each a quickie.  OK so this is lame but that seems to be the future of all service sectors.
Nov 29, 2012 6:39PM
I've actually been to this exact ranch several times; each was a bachelor party.  Had a blast.
Nov 29, 2012 6:30PM
Well the diff is at least at the "ranch" people KNOW they are getting f^$%*d
Nov 29, 2012 6:18PM
Time to offer some "Red Light" specials to keep traffic going!
Nov 29, 2012 6:17PM
Going to hurt her in the end!!  HAHA!!  Classic!
Nov 29, 2012 6:17PM
Oh great!!!   Vagina inflation!!   It always goes up regardless of the economy.....i hear.
Nov 29, 2012 6:14PM
Oh noooo now ppl are gonna have to stay faithful to their marriages/relationships...  -_____- uhh
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