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Deja View : An updated look at some of the people, places and programs featured in Valley View during the year : MARKETING : Items Bearing Bordello’s Logo Are Hot Sellers

The working girls at the Chicken Ranch figured that their sex appeal extended beyond the bedrooms of their Pahrump, Nev., brothel.

They were right.

Last July, a Glendale firm agreed to market a range of merchandise bearing the bordello’s name and logo. The Chicken Ranch, after all, has been around since 1844 and claims to be the inspiration for the Broadway musical and film “Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.”

CRI Marketing, a husband-and-wife company, produced T-shirts, baseball caps and a calendar that included a photograph of a different scantily clad prostitute each month.

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“The fantasy is: I can go up and visit this girl,” said Robert Wortham of CRI. “This woman could be mine.”

So far, more than 40,000 of the items have sold through mail-order and gift shops throughout Nevada, Wortham said. He said his company receives as many as 500 telephone calls a day from people asking for the merchandise catalogue.

Several new items will be added in 1992. Chicken Ranch fans can order a sports water bottle, a shot glass, an ashtray, a belt buckle and ceramic coffee mugs. Many stores outside the Silver State are balking at carrying bordello-related goods.

“It’s a product the consumer wants, but the dealers don’t,” Wortham said.

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Despite the early mail-order success, Wortham has yet to accomplish the goal he set for himself when the Chicken Ranch line debuted.

“All we have to do is find a state that will ban this calendar,” he said, “and we’ll make millions.”


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