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Prive' Nightclub at Vegas's Planet Hollywood Resort Being Forced to Close
 for Failure to Abide by the Duties of a Liquor Licensee
County's License Denial Came Hours After the Resort Paid a $500,000 Fine to State Gaming
 Regulators for Failing to Maintain Sufficient Control Over the Nightclub and Lounge
By Arnold M. Knightly, Las Vegas Review-JournalMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

July 23, 2009 --Prive, the nightclub that cost Planet Hollywood Resort a $500,000 fine today, was denied a liquor license and ordered to cease operations by midnight Tuesday for failing to "abide by the duties of a liquor licensee," the county's Business License Department announced.

Prive's ultralounge, the Living Room, which is owned by the same company as Prive, was ordered to cease all business operations by midnight July 30.

The nightclub and lounge had been operating under temporary licenses while the Metro Police Department was conducting an investigation into the club's suitability for licenses.

In its announcement, the county said the clubs failed to meet county code requirements that state liquor licensees must "strictly enforce all the provisions" of county and state laws and "shall not permit within or upon the licensed premises any lewd activity, nudity or topless activity" as well as "disorder, disturbances, or other activities which endanger the health or safety of the patrons."

The county's news release noted the operators of the nightclub and ultralounge had been cited for three violations by the Business License Department.

According to the citations, a security manager stalled or interfered with agents conducting inspections at the properties.

The clubs were also cited for allowing topless and lewd activity to take place on their premises. Prive and the Living Room are owned and operated by the Opium Group, a Miami Beach, Fla.-based nightclub owner. The Opium Group has 30 days to appeal the license denials to the Clark County Commission, but will have to remain closed during the appeal process.

The county's license denial came hours after Planet Hollywood Resort paid a $500,000 fine to state gaming regulators "for failing to maintain sufficient control over" Prive, which leases the space from the resort.

Nevada Deputy Attorney General John Michela, whose office brought the original complaint, told the commission that the resort's failure to maintain oversight of the nightclub "led to numerous incidents which reflect or tend to reflect poorly on the reputation of gaming" in Nevada and that could act as a detriment to the development of the gaming industry.

The Nevada Gaming Commission commended the resort for steps it had taken over the past two weeks to ensure there was no more illegal activity occuring at the clubs.

Planet Hollywood Resort agreed to pay a $500,000 fine recommended by the Nevada Gaming Control Board. The agreement called for an additional $250,000 fine if similar complaints were filed against the clubs before July 31, 2011.

Planet Hollywood had renegotiated its lease with the nightclub giving hotel-casino personnel authority to enter the nightclub without being escorted by nightclub security. The hotel-casino also obtained the right to terminate the nightclub's lease if similar problems occurred.

Official release from Clark County:

Thursday, The Clark County Department of Business License denied the liquor license applications for nightclubs Prive' and Living Room, forcing them to cease all business operations by next week.  The clubs, which are joined together and operate within the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino, were denied licenses for failure to abide by the duties of a liquor licensee as set forth under Clark County Code 8.20.465.

The nightclubs have been operating under temporary liquor licenses pending the completion of investigations for suitability conducted by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. The temporary license for Prive' expires on July 28 and the Living Room license expires July 30. Business operations at the clubs must cease by midnight on those days.

The nightclubs may appeal the license denials to the Clark County Commission, which would hear the matter in its capacity as the county Liquor and Gaming Board. An appeal would need to be filed with the Department of Business License within 30 days. The board may hear the appeals or refer them to a hearing officer previously appointed by the Commission.

County Code 8.20.465 requires, among other things, "each holder of an alcoholic liquor license to strictly enforce all the provisions of this code and state statutes." Licensees also "must maintain and conduct all activities upon the premises in a decent, orderly and respectful manner and shall not knowingly permit within or upon the licensed premises any lewd activity, nudity, or topless activity..., disorder, disturbances, or other activities which endanger the health or safety of the patrons...."


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