Judge Lifts Order Barring Move of Mustang Ranch

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

A Reno judge has lifted a temporary restraining order that blocked Nevada's newest brothel owner from moving the pink stucco building that once housed the infamous Mustang Ranch brothel.

Washoe District Judge Peter Breen took the action Friday after Lance Gilman agreed to return to the Storey County commission and reapply for permits to move it.

"I'll follow each and every one of those requests to the letter," Gilman said Saturday.

Gilman purchased the Mustang building and trademark from the Bureau of Land Management in October for $145,100, and wants to move the structure four miles east to his new Wild Horse Canyon Ranch & Spa brothel.

He's exploring different options for the Mustang on his property, located along Interstate 80 about 10 miles east of Reno. He plans to return it to its original state, gaudy colors and all.

"We have declared it as a brothel project. That's the intent," Gilman said. "I would enjoy opening the world famous Mustang Ranch and letting her work again.

"Of course, she could be a restaurant or nightclub or lodging for ladies who work at Wild Horse ... Certainly, it should and could be a tourist attraction," he added.

He started moving the building in pieces Jan. 4 and had planned to continue doing so every weekend this month.

But neighbors of his new brothel asked Breen to stop the Mustang move, and the judge issued the temporary restraining order on Jan. 9.

DP Industrial, one of the major landowners in the Reno-Tahoe Industrial Park near the Wild Horse, has cited hazardous materials concerns.

"What we ask is that if they're going to start the process, they do it correctly," DP spokesman Aaron Paris told the Nevada Appeal.

DP officials have said the latest legal maneuver was part of their ongoing court effort to close Gilman's brothel.

If he secures the permits at Tuesday's commission meeting, Gilman plans to resume moving the Mustang on Saturday. Buildings such as the Mustang can only be moved on weekends in Nevada.

"We're ready to start immediately once the legal maneuvering is decided," Gilman said.

The Mustang gained fame when Joe Conforte owned it. He fled to Brazil in the 1990s to escape federal tax convictions.

The federal government seized the Mustang in 1999 after a U.S. District Court jury found the corporation that owned the brothel guilty of racketeering and bankruptcy fraud for hiding Conforte's continued ownership of the bordello while he was out of the country.

In a related development, the Wild Horse's future was in doubt after a Nevada Supreme Court ruling last week that its permit is invalid.

The court's ruling may require another licensing process for Gilman since it states his failure to comply with ordinances "negated the validity" of his earlier application.

"Is there a threat to the Wild Horse? Yes. Is there any probable threat? No. I can comply," Gilman said, adding the brothel remains open.


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