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County grants temporary license to Prive

Commission scheduled to review license again on Sept. 1

Updated Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2009 | 7:49 p.m.

Prive at Planet Hollywood

The Prive nightclub at Planet Hollywood. Launch slideshow »

Clark County Commissioners allowed embattled nightclubs Prive and The Living Room to receive 30-day temporary liquor licenses and reopen as soon as they are ready.

The clubs located in Planet Hollywood closed about three weeks ago after the Clark County Business and License Department revoked their liquor licenses last month.

The clubs’ attorney, Jay Brown, said owners expect to reopen this weekend after agreeing to a corrective action plan with the director of the county department, Jacqueline Holloway.

“Everything she has asked over the several weeks, I have done, these gentlemen (owners) have done,” Brown said. “We’ve agreed to everything she’s asked for without any negotiations.”

The fallout from Prive likely will affect the entire nightclub industry with Holloway looking to establish fines her department can levy against clubs and required training for club employees.

“I am going to be sending out a notice to the industry outlining some key conditions and some key expectations for their management and operations,” she said. “If we’re finding these kinds of blatant disregard for code, we will in fact move toward a civil penalty.”

Holloway also wants the nightclubs to make their books, records and security logs available to the license department for periodical auditing.

After a yearlong investigation, the Nevada Gaming Control Board fined Planet Hollywood $500,000 for allowing illegal activities to occur at Prive, including prostitution, underage drinking and narcotic drug use.

The clubs’ owner, Roman Jones, said his company has repaid $125,000 of the fine to Planet Hollywood and is working with the resort to pay back more.

The county’s license department previously issued three notices of violation against Prive for stalling agents who were conducting a compliance inspection, interfering with agents during the course of a routine inspection and for allowing “topless and lewd activity.”

The license department often lets businesses with compliance issues reorganize as long as the key problem is fixed, Holloway said, allowing the county to consider issuing a temporary license.

In Prive’s case, the key issues were related to the day-to-day operations and not with ownership. The three people responsible for daily operations have been removed from management, Holloway said. One is no longer with the company.

Metro will conduct a background check on the new management team but has not seen an official application, said Barry Reddick of Metro’s Special Investigations Section. He said he has, however, seen an e-mail with the prospective names and is aware that two of the people were known to be involved with the problems at the club.

“There are probably some concerns with those individuals based on what kind of role they had at the time that the other problems were going on,” he said. “We don’t know if this is just a shuffle of names or is it truly new people that we’ve never investigated before.”

A full background check would take at least six months, Reddick said, and he wants to investigate how owners run their clubs in Miami.

License department officials were scheduled to meet with Metro Police, Prive owners and Planet Hollywood representatives Tuesday afternoon to outline the county’s conditions for approval of a permanent license.

Among the licensing conditions are that Planet Hollywood will have to change its lease agreement with Prive so that it can be held responsible for the club, Holloway said.

The Business License Department will conduct monthly meetings with Metro, Planet Hollywood and Prive to monitor compliance, Holloway said.

The commission will review the licenses again on Sept. 1.

About 100 employees have been retained and are being paid while the doors remain closed, Brown said.

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