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September 2, 2014

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Privé close to receiving temporary liquor license

New key employee applicant has ties to the Nevada Gaming Commission

Updated Monday, Aug. 17, 2009 | 4:12 p.m.

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The Prive nightclub at Planet Hollywood. Launch slideshow »

In a statement issued today by the department of business license to county commissioners, director Jacqueline Holloway states that her department’s staff “has comprehensively reviewed the new application for a change of ownership and has determined that the application is complete and can proceed for processing.”

Appending to that memo a long list of conditions, Holloway further states that “When all the requirements are met and we have an understanding of the department's expectation for management and operations, the department may issue a 90 day temporary license set to expire November 20, 2009, pending the background investigation of the new parties on the license.”

Among the list of 11 conditions, the department of business license requires that state gaming, business license and Metro get unobstructed access to the nightclub; that all serious incident reports be faxed to the department within 24 hours of an incident; that patrons be restricted from access to the kitchen area, security surveillance area and the stripper poles; and that former directors Greg Jarmolowich and Frank Tucker shall have “no involvement in the management or operations of Privé or the Living Room nightclubs.”

Adhering to these rules as they are set forth, Privé is poised to be granted a temporary liquor license while its application for a permanent license is considered. Counting backwards, the 90-day temporary license would seemingly have to go into effect on Sunday, Aug. 23, to expire on Nov. 20. The permanent license would have to be granted on or before Nov. 20 for business to continue into the new year.

In an apparent show of confidence, rumor has it that Privé has already put out feelers to secure talent and celebrities to perform and host when Privé’s doors reopen under the management of the three new key employees Privé has identified in its new application for a liquor license: Orlando Oquendo, Jim Reding and David Hicks.

Reding had intended to open a new live music venue and bar at the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Fremont Street in 2007. In partnership with fellow developer Wayne Jefferies and attorney JT Moran III of Vegas’ Moran Law Firm, and operating as Beehive Las Vegas, LLC, Reding was to turn the former 7-Eleven into The Hive.

Beyond the Sun

But investor dollars ran dry and costs ran high. After sinking $300,000 of their own money into the property, Reding says, the building was returned to the landlord to find a sublease, and the LLC defaulted. The registered agent for Jefferies’ H.R. Hospitality Inc. (LLC also defaulted) is Privé’s attorney Jay H. Brown.

When it comes time for Reding, Oquendo and Hicks to come before the Nevada Gaming Commission as applicant key employees, Moran’s father, Nevada Gaming Commissioner John T. Moran Jr., will be on the board.

In an interview last week, Reding said he doesn’t think Commissioner Moran will abstain from voting on the appointment of his son’s former partner and colleague as there is no current financial connection.

“Perhaps it would be different if we did get The Hive going,” said Reding. “It’s not like JT and I are actively running a business together.”

Reding himself has little nightlife background, despite the fact that his Style Box consulting and development firm (LLC also defaulted) Web site says that nightlife is within his company’s purview. The Hive would have been the first specifically nightclub-related project for the retail specialist, according to his work history.

Reding said he knows he is walking into a tense situation but says he has done his homework on Opium Group and has closely followed the preceding events.

“I think Privé is not necessarily the example but just the first in what will be a closer governance of nightclubs,” he said, standing by his new employer. “The Opium Group is a strong nightclub group that knows what they’re doing.”

Reding said, “I think things will go Privé’s way. They’ve made the necessary adjustments that should satisfy anybody making that decision.”

Since Reding spoke last week, that appeal has been withdrawn and Reding’s key employeeship rolled into a new application for a permanent liquor license. Attempts to contact Opium Group for comment on Reding’s ties to the commission were not immediately returned.

Reding acknowledged that important work is being done here with this case. “It’s going to create a more regulated environment.”

And past talk of alleged corruption and illegal activities? “It certainly won’t happen on my watch.”

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