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Arnold M. Knightly

Prive nightclub to appeal ruling

28 July 2009

LAS VEGAS, Nevada –- Privé nightclub plans to file an appeal of its liquor license denial today with Clark County officials and appears to think it will be open this weekend despite a mandate to close by midnight tonight.

Privé nightclub, located at Planet Hollywood Resort, was denied a liquor license Thursday and ordered to cease operations by the county's Business License Department for failing "to abide by the duties of a liquor licensee."

While the club's attorney and officials have remained silent, Planet Hollywood's gaming attorney, Frank Schreck, said the club plans to file an appeal today and seek a temporary permit to remain open until an Aug. 4 hearing before the Clark County Commission.

Erik Pappa, Clark County's director of public communications, said it would be up to Business License Director Jacqueline Holloway to decide whether to issue the nightclub a temporary permit.

Privé seems confident in its chances, though. A few hours after the county announced the club would have to close, Privé announced on the social networking Web site Twitter plans for a celebrity birthday party for this Friday.

Last week, at 8:07 p.m. Thursday, five hours after the county announced its decision, the club's Twitter page posted: "Just booked 24's Mary Lynn Rajskub for Friday, July 31st. Come help her celebrate her Birthday." An ad for the event is on the club's Web site.

Privé is owned by the Opium Group, a Miami Beach, Fla.-based nightclub operator. The club operates on the mezzanine level of the Planet Hollywood Resort.

Privé's ultralounge, the Living Room, which also is owned by the Opium Group, also was denied a liquor license and was ordered to cease all business operations by midnight this Thursday.

The county announced its decision a few hours after Planet Hollywood Resort officials agreed to pay a $500,000 fine for not properly overseeing activities at the nightclub.

The nightclub and lounge had been operating under temporary licenses while police investigated their suitability for licenses after being cited by the county for a series of code violations.

The county issued three citations stemming from a May 14, 2008, incident when security managers either stalled or interfered with inspections at the clubs.

Privé also was cited for allowing topless and lewd activity to take place on site.

The incident was listed in the state Gaming Control Board's nine-count complaint against Planet Hollywood Resort filed by the state attorney general's office on July 9.

Schreck said it was too early to discuss the resort's continuing relationship with the nightclub, but he said Privé has cooperated with the casino operator after the investigation.

"Prive has been cooperative enough with us in terms of rewriting and drafting the lease and code of conduct and operational code," he said. "Hopefully that will resolve a lot of these issues. ... It's too early. The smoke hasn't cleared, yet."