Playboy Returns to Las Vegas

Playboy Returns to Las Vegas

by Naomi Baria
01.16.2007

Bunnies, blackjack and big ballers. Dubbed “the cleavage central of in the clouds,” The new Playboy Club atop The Palms’ Fantasy Tower drips with testosterone-infused indulgence. With diamond-encrusted walls, onyx chandeliers, reptilian seating, and Cavalli-clad Bunnies, this ain’t your father’s, or even your father’s father’s, Playboy fantasy. 

Hell, even 007 would do a double take.

The mammary-mecca owes its vision to Michael Morton and Scott DeGraff of the N9NE Group—named so because the two have been best friends since the age of nine. The group already owns several venues at the Palms, with N9NE Steakhouse, Ghostbar, Rain, Pool at the Palms, among others under its belt. 

The most notable tidbit is Morton’s Bunny lineage—his late father Arnie worked under Hugh Hefner as the original creator and overseer of the Playboy Clubs of the swinging ‘60s and ‘70s.

But it takes more than just childhood memories and a sweaty stack of nudie mags to bring this debonair retro-chic revision to life.  We sat with Michael Morton and DeGraff to chat about Playboy’s playpen over 50 stories above the earth

CLUBPLANET: What inspired you to resurrect the infamous Playboy Club?

Scott DeGraff:  Michael’s dad was the creator and built all of the Playboy Clubs—it was his baby to run that part of the enterprise.  In the bigger picture, it certainly doesn’t hurt having the Morton name with us.  And having George Maloof from the Palms, Hef knew it would ultimately be in good hands. 

Michael, how was it growing up within the Playboy empire?

Michael Morton: When you’re that young, you really don’t question it; it was just what my dad did.  I grew up hanging out in different resorts, chasing Bunnies and their tails, trying to steal their penlights.  As a kid, it was my norm. 

Sounds like a hard life. What sets your new Playboy Club apart from its predecessors?

Scott: Our biggest challenge was trying to create this Playboy experience without relying on a collection of memorabilia. It’s a hyper-luxurious penthouse mansion in the sky—from the black onyx chandeliers to the nail heads in our couches, everything was custom-designed. 

Michael: We epitomize the best of what was the spirit of the Playboy entertainment experience.  Yet, the club is very boutique, and has gaming and lounging intertwined in a way that has never been done before in Las Vegas.

Gambling, girls, what else is there in life?

Scott: We have a small dance component being built within the Playboy Club and, in addition, we have linked the club via escalators to Moon, our high-end dance club upstairs.  So the 12,500sf Playboy Club grows into a 25000sf entertainment complex. And this place is as stunning during the day as it is at night with one of the most world-class views in the world. 

And when we’re done gambling and dancing?

Scott: You can shop at the Playboy store or check into the Hugh Hefner Sky Villa suite.  It’s over 10,000sf, with indoor-outdoor swimming pools, rotating beds and clocks in at over $40,000 per night.  Two floors below the Playboy Club, it’s the highest suite at the Palms and certainly the most opulent.

What kind of Playboy are you expecting to walk through your door?

Scott: Anyone who wants to have a great time within a luxurious setting. Up there, you can gamble, lounge, dance—and do so among very beautiful people.

Like the Playboy Bunnies?

Michael: These Bunnies came from all over America—when the customers come here, that’s the one thing they want: the Bunnies.

Bunnies in Roberto Cavalli outfits, no less.

Scott: Roberto Cavalli loves women.  Some designers design for women, but they don’t necessarily love women. He loves the things that Playboy has stood for from the best wine, to the best cigars, to beautiful women.  He’s a very cool, classy guy—it was a great fit.

How does Hugh Hefner feel about your work?

Scott: The nicest compliment Hef gave to us was, “You delivered more than you promised.”

Michael: Hef got it and loved it.  When Scott gave him the tour at the grand opening, he was literally in tears. For anyone that walked up to him that night, he would look at them, smile and say, “The Bunny is back.” 

Will we be seeing the Bunny elsewhere in the world?

Scott: It’s not on the horizon for us.  There is talk of Playboy doing something in Asia and maybe London.  There was a point in time when Playboy was all over, but Vegas is where it belongs. This place personifies everything Playboy stands for. And there’s only one Las Vegas in the world. 

 Playboy Club at The Palms Hotel & Casino
7321 W Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, NV (702) 942-6832
Playboy Club

 

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