Heidi Fleiss, the famous (or infamous, if you prefer; I prefer the former) Hollywood madam-to-the-stars who was convicted in 1995 for tax evasion (the pandering charges were dropped, as I understand it,) has branched out into the greater Las Vegas area, having moved to Pahrump, Nevada about a year ago. During that time the media now and again makes reference to her plans to purchase and convert a Las Vegas brothel in the Pahrump Valley into Nevada’s first male brothel for women, aptly to be named “Heidi’s Stud Farm…”
For various reasons of which I do not have the details, those plans seem to be on temporary hold. A girl has to keep herself busy in the meantime while the attorneys work out the nit-picky details and the community warms to the idea. Of all the businesses to go into, this would not have made my best 50 guesses as to which should would choose in the interim, but here it is: she is now a coin-operated laundry proprietress!
Okay, yeah, I’ll need to let that sink in for just a minute, I suppose… How about now? I bet the name of the place will help: “Heidi Fleiss’ Dirty Laundry!” hehehe I giggle every time I say it!
There have been some things in the media very recently about Dirty Laundry opening up and I thought I should drive out and take a few pictures for “While Las Vegas Sleeps…”. It happened to be Nick the Cabbie’s evening off so he jumped in the car with me and we drove out to Pahrump, which is about 55 miles away from the Strip, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the place (Pahrump is in Nye County, to the west of the Spring Mountains and Las Vegas, where Art Bell used to broadcast his paranormal/conspiracy/UFO type radio shows from and also has the dubious honor of being home to the closest brothels to Las Vegas.)
So we arrived at the Albertson’s shopping center where Dirty Laundry is located, saw the “now open” sign and pulled in. I really just wanted to get a couple of quick snaps for the ol’ blog and take off, pretty much, until walking through the door and staring past the brand new washers I saw Heidi Fleiss herself leaning up against the machines and talking on her cell phone at the far end of the room. I looked around at the decorations for a bit and took a seat until she got off the phone.
I like Heidi. She’s made for Nevada – she has a mind for business, willing to try anything, and in true businessperson form she didn’t think twice about taking time to talk to blog writer while she was in the middle of rearranging things and doing work to her place (who just had its opening on Sunday and not all of the decorations are up or in place just yet.)
Now I was really curious about her choice of businesses, being quite a diversion from her former occupation, so my first question to Heidi Fleiss was “what made you decide to start a laundromat?” I guess deep down I was hoping for some sort of juicy story that tied everything together nicely and made sense, but the answer she gave was the only one she really could give and make the venture a good idea – “I really just saw a need for it.” She said it’s the only one in the immediate area and none of the others have the type of equipment she’s invested in. She said that her washers have a higher “extraction” of water than most (clearly industry-speak for a faster spin cycle) and use less water to boot, allowing for a faster drying time in her dryers, which she said she also chose because of their very efficient performance, both energy and time-wise. Heidi explained that on top of the fact that she’s already $.25 less per cycle than her competitors, the cycle itself will take less time, saving her both her and her customers money in the long run. I replied, “You’ve basically built a green, state of the art laundry business,” to which she turned and smiled at me as though I’d just “gotten it.” What I got, I wasn’t 100% on. Maybe she liked the idea of me saying that her energy and resource-conserving facility made her green or maybe she was smiling at herself for leading a member of the Internet “press” toward precisely the conclusion she wanted for whatever I was to write. Either way, well done, Heidi.
It was about this time she looked up at me quickly and asked, “Have you seen the bathroom??” I kind of tilted my head a second and said that I hadn’t and she started walking towards the back of the place. When the door was opened I saw what she meant. This was a restroom built for people that don’t generally do their laundry any place other than their personal laundry or maybe the dry cleaners! I gotta get me one of those!! If I had a bathroom like this at home I’d almost definitely spend more time in there reading or whatever it is you do in a restroom. Okay, I’d throw a party and have everyone come in and sit down on the floor, very clean floor, mind you, and let the antics ensue. Just look at the floor.. That would have taken me months to get just right. The photo here doesn’t really do it justice, but for a public facility, hey, I think anyone would be comfortable, uhm.. you get the picture.
So as we were wrapping things up and I’d gotten her contact information, I could not help myself – I had to mention that I’d overheard her on the phone earlier saying that Good Morning America is going to be there on Tuesday. “Oh, yeah!” she said. I mentioned how all this publicity, all this hype is over a coin-operated laundry in little Pahrump, Nevada. She said yeah, Elle Magazine had already been here with photographers, reporters, the works. [Did you catch that? "While Las Vegas Sleeps..." beat Good Morning America to a story item!]
So I asked her what to me was the obvious question – “How does it feel to have the honor of being the owner of the most hyped, most famous coin operated laundry in history?” She laughed. She said she didn’t see it that way – she just saw a need and decided to open a business.
Who knew? *shrugs*
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