The brothel now known as the Moonlite BunnyRanch first opened in 1955. There is a historical marker on the premises, found just inside of the property's main gate, as the ranch is located near a stop on the original Pony Express. It operated discreetly until 1970, when Nevada began regulation of houses of prostitution. Dennis Hof, a frequent customer, purchased the business in 1993 for $1 million and invested another $500,000 in upgrading the facilities and decor. With an eye toward legitimizing sex workers, he has declined to call his workers "prostitutes."
Dennis Hof subsequently purchased another nearby brothel, then known as Madame Kitty's Fantasy Ranch, located about one mile (1.6 km) to better capitalize on the "BunnyRanch brand name," as he put it.
Jesse Ventura, former professional wrestler and Governor of Minnesota, wrote in his 1999 autobiography I Ain't Got Time to Bleed that he visited the Bunny Ranch in the 1970s, had sex there, and received $10 in return for his Navy SEAL belt.
In July 2003, Mötley Crüe singer Vince Neil, a regular customer of the BunnyRanch, was charged with battery after a prostitute at the ranch alleged that he grabbed her around the throat and threw her against a wall .
In 2008, Moonlite BunnyRanch prostitute Brooke Taylor was featured in the web series "Who's Sleeping with Your Husband., speaking candidly about the reasons she believes men visit brothels and revealing the most popular menu items.
Dennis Hof owner of the Bunny Ranch is under investigation for harboring a wanted sex offender. He allegedly was harboring Philip Yoder who is wanted out of oregon for felony rape. He is also a convicted sex offender that never registered in carson city nevada while living and working at Dennis Hofs apartment complex, The Golden Dragon Apartments. In the two years he worked at the Bunny Ranch he never registered with Lyon County Sheriffs Department for his Sheriffs card which is mandatory by law to make sure that the people working there are not criminals or wanted. Dennis Hof has been helping this guy hide from police. This man is an especially dangerous sex offender in that he is very violent when he rapes girls. Both Dennis and Philip Yoder have been friends since Philip owned a publishing company for sex clubs. http://www.nevadaappeal.com/article/20080918/NEWS/809179946&parentprofile=search
In September 2008, a 22-year-old old woman who calls herself Natalie Dylan announced on the Howard Stern Show that she would auction off her virginity on the BunnyRanch's website, and that the act would be consummated at the ranch. A recent women's studies graduate from Sacramento State, she planned to use the money to finance graduate school and said "I feel empowered because I am being pro-choice with my body." She retained the right to reject the winner of the auction and pick another bidder, claiming that several bids had exceeded $1 million. Denis Hof is to receive half of the winning bid.