WATCH: A Halifax city councilor has asked them to find out what zoning would be needed for sex workers to run a business. Brett Ruskin reports.
HALIFAX – The owner of an America chain of brothels says he wants to bring his business to several Canadian cities, including Halifax.
Denis Hof owns The Bunny Ranch along with several other brothels across Nevada, the only U.S. state to allow prostitution.
He tells Global News that he started pondering an expansion north of the border after he heard about the Supreme Court striking down prostitution laws in this country.
“What I’d like to do is open up in Canada. I’m looking at Montreal, Halifax, Vancouver and Toronto,” he said.
Hof said there are several reasons why he picked Halifax.
“You got lots of military. You got lots of shipping coming in there. These are perfect buyers for the sexual adventure that The Bunny Ranch can supply. You got 400,000 people living in this city. I look at it like it’s a great opportunity.”
But the idea is contentious, something Hof says he’s prepared for.
“The smart residents will understand that it’s going to stop the sex trafficking that’s going on now. You got a huge sex trafficking problem. They may not want to deal with it or listen to it, but it’s there now. Our way would slow that down substantially,” he said.
Hof said that he has 560 girls licensed to work with them, and between 140 and 150 girls work all the time.
The federal government has one year to re-write the prostitution laws, which will leave many municipalities dealing with how to zone and regulate red light districts.
Hof said restrictions such as high licensing fees or limited hours for the girls to work would make business difficult. He hopes Halifax treats brothels just like any other commercial business.
He is also particular about where he would put a brothel.
“I would want to put it in a commercial area, maybe a zoned area for brothels, where the bars and nightclubs, strip clubs are. I don’t want to be in a residential area. I don’t want to be next to churches. I don’t want to be next to schools,” he said.
Camille, one of his employees, tells Global News that she thinks many girls in Halifax would be interested in working in a brothel.
“I have a bachelors degree. Now I’m going to nursing school full time. I’m able to keep up my full time school schedule while working as a working girl and making enough money to pay for my classes, not needing student loans or things like that,” she said.
Hof plans to visit Halifax in the next month for a scouting tour.
“I’ve heard good things about Halifax. I would hope I like being there.”