Two billboards off Highway 50 in El Dorado County have caught the attention and outrage of some residents.
Featuring the name of a brothel in Nevada, the billboards, one in Camino and the other in Strawberry, show two shapely blondes and a Web address for the Bunny Ranch Bar.
However, it’s all a misunderstanding according to Bunny Ranch owner Dennis Hof.
He said the billboards are advertising his Bunny Ranch Restaurant and Cigar Bar, not the brothel. “Did I mention that kids eat free?” he said.
As for the suggestive element of the billboards, Hof said, “a lot of billboards have women in more scathing outfits than that.”
“This has nothing to do with prostitution,” he said. “I own a lot of different businesses under the Bunny Ranch name including a business park, the restaurant and cigar bar, and soon a Bunny Ranch wedding chapel.”
Hof said people seeing the billboards jumped to the wrong conclusion. “They thought we were advertising something else,” saying people should have gone to his Website to learn more about what he was advertising. “You know what assumptions lead to …” he said.
Hof said he owns seven of the 17 brothels in Nevada and has owned the Bunny Ranch since 1992. “The Bunny Ranch is a brand I’ve created that’s growing into a lot of things,” he said. “Did I mention that kids eat free?”
Nonetheless, his Website does prominently note that “there is always a bunny on your bar stool” at the restaurant and cigar bar.
The negative publicity has forced him to change the billboard in Camino. He said his graphic arts people are in the process of changing the message on the billboard, although he wouldn’t give any details. As for the one in Strawberry, he said they were still looking at it and deciding if they want to change anything about it.
“In the meantime,” he said, “did I mention that kids eat free?”
Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter.