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Howard Stutz
 

Prive nightclub hearing delayed

5 August 2009

LAS VEGAS, Nevada –- A hearing on an appeal of Clark County's decision to pull the liquor licenses for two Strip nightclubs was delayed Tuesday for at least two weeks.

Jay Brown, an attorney for Privé and the Living Room, which operated at Planet Hollywood Resort and closed when their liquor licenses were denied, said he needed more time for the clubs' owners to prepare for the hearing.

Brown said there were new developments, including a continuing reorganization of the nightclubs' management.

Clark County spokesman Erik Pappa said the clubs' owners were working with the county's Department of Business License and the Metropolitan Police Department during the closure.

A new hearing has been set for Aug. 18. Clark County commissioners made no comment on the clubs when they voted in favor of the delay.

Privé and the Living Room will remain closed until the hearing.

Clark County took away the clubs' liquor license on July 23, saying the owners failed "to abide by the duties of a liquor licensee," the same day Planet Hollywood Resort paid a $500,000 fine to state gaming regulators for not properly overseeing activities at the nightclubs.

Privé and the Living Room ultralounge lease space at Planet Hollywood Resort and are operated by the Opium Group, a Miami Beach, Fla.-based nightclub owner.

State gaming regulators and Clark County authorities said there were allegations of lewd sexual behavior, illegal drug use, dangerous levels of alcohol abuse and sexual assaults at the two clubs.

The county rejected a request by Privé to remain open during a subsequent investigation by the Department of Business License.

The county also rejected a request by Planet Hollywood Resort to take over operations of the clubs until after the hearing. The hotel-casino wanted to run the clubs to "preserve +/- 150 jobs, avoid damaging Planet Hollywood's operations and honor commitments currently in place with patrons."

County officials said they were not confident Planet Hollywood Resort "would operate the nightclub with the proper level of protection for the public health, welfare and safety of guests."