July 13, 2009 / 5:36 PM / in 8 years

Take off your bicycle helmet, big boy!

BERLIN (Reuters) - A Berlin brothel has come up with a novel way to negate the impact of the global economic crisis and target a new group of customers at the same time -- offering a discount to patrons who arrive on bicycles.

<p>A man casts a shadow as he rides his bicycle in Berlin January 14, 2008. REUTERS/Johannes Eisele</p>

“The recession has hit our industry hard,” said Thomas Goetz, owner of the “Maison d‘envie” brothel.

“Obviously we hope that the discount will attract more people,” he added. “It’s good for business, it’s good for the environment -- and it’s good for the girls.”

Customers who arrive on bicycle or who can prove they took public transportation get a 5-euro ($7) discount from the usual 70-euro ($100) fee for 45 minute sessions, Goetz told Reuters. He said the environmentally friendly offer was working.

“We have around 3-5 new customers coming in daily to take advantage of the discount,” he said, adding the green rebate has helped alleviate traffic and parking congestion in the neighborhood.

Germany is one of the few countries in the world where prostitution is legal. It has about 400,000 prostitutes who, since 2002, have been allowed to enter formal labor contracts.

Reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by Robin Pomeroy

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