Are you kidding? There could be more adult entertainment players orbiting around Las Vegas than anywhere outside of California’s San Fernando Valley—and I’m not just talking about this week, when the Adult Entertainment Expo and AVN Awards roll into town. And that number figures to grow, as we will likely see a slow migration of the California porn business to Nevada. Credit not just the restrictive porn laws recently enacted in California, but Las Vegas’ reputation as Sin City for influencing the phenomenon. Among other influences: the proximity of decriminalized prostitution just an hour or so north in Nye County, and our Valley’s plethora of strip clubs, which can serve as a launching point for those wishing to explore adult entertainment.
Case in point: Jenna Jameson—the city’s most famous native-born adult star, and perhaps the most recognizable name in all of porndom—began her career by topless dancing in Las Vegas before reaching what was then the legal age of 18 (it is currently 21 for clubs that serve alcohol). Jameson won numerous AVN Awards for her film performances, went on to form her own company and subsequently shared her story via her 2004 autobiography How to Make Love Like A Porn Star, which details the challenges Jameson faced during her life.
Also of note is Corinna Harney, who was born in Germany but raised in Las Vegas. In 1992, at age 20, she was named Playboy’s Playmate of the Year, the magazine’s then-youngest to date. After appearing in numerous Playboy videos, Harney later had roles in various television shows and film, including National Lampoon’s Vegas Vacation.
Here’s something to fire up your conspiracy theories: Both Harney and Jameson were young ballet dancers before entering the adult industry. Both graduated from Bonanza High School. And both had fathers who worked in law enforcement.
What is going to happen to the Fontainebleau?
This has been the city’s $64,000—make that $3 billion—question since 2009, when construction on the massive Strip resort abruptly hit a recession-induced wall. While things can change quickly and often in Vegas, given current economics on the Strip, it’s unlikely the resort will ever be finished. (As it is, the Fontainebleau long ago sold off all of its furnishings to the Plaza during the latter’s remodel.)
While some wish local government would “do something” about the property, no legal solutions exist so long as billionaire owner Carl Icahn maintains the building and its 24 acres. Thus, don’t expect anything to happen until Icahn senses that the moment to cash in is at hand.