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Privé owner files for bankruptcy protection in Florida

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Updated Thursday, Nov. 12, 2009 | 5:29 p.m.

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The owner of the Privé and Living Room nightclubs at the Planet Hollywood resort in Las Vegas filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Wednesday in Florida.

Two cases to restructure the clubs' finances were filed in Miami, by Privé Vegas LLC and PVPH LLC.

Court papers indicate the owner of the clubs intends to keep them open; and Privé promoted on Twitter and Facebook an event for Thursday night launching "La Rumba Thursdays."

The bankruptcy filings didn't disclose if they are related to investigations of illegal activity at the clubs this year by state and local regulators. The clubs were temporarily closed this summer by Clark County because of ordinance violations.

Messages for comment on the bankruptcies were left with the clubs' parent company, the Opium Group in Miami; and with Planet Hollywood.

Judge A. Jay Cristol -- the same judge presiding over the Fontainebleau Las Vegas bankruptcy case -- on Thursday approved a routine motion that the 114 Privé employees and independent contractors receive their wages and benefits.

But Cristol did not approve a request that an "insider" receive $13,000, according to hand-written notes on the order.

"The debtor’s timely payment of employee compensation and benefits, including those that accrued pre-(bankruptcy) petition, is critical to maintain their workforce and business operations to enable a seamless transition into Chapter 11," attorneys for Privé said in a court filing.

Among the largest creditors listed in the Privé filing are Planet Hollywood operator OpBiz LLC, with a disputed claim of about $690,000; ADT Construction Group Inc. of Las Vegas, with a disputed claim of $1.6 million; Sun City Electric of Las Vegas, with a disputed claim of about $844,000; Midwest Drywall of Las Vegas, with a disputed claim of about $527,000; and the Las Vegas law firm Lionel Sawyer & Collins, owed about $435,000.

In total, Privé's filing estimated it has up to 99 creditors, assets of less than $50,000 and liabilities of $1 million to $10 million.

PVPH listed just one creditor, OpBiz, with a disputed claim of $506,000.

PVPH has no employees and is an entity created to be the named tenant on the lease for the clubs, though that lease has been assigned to Privé, Privé attorneys said in court papers.

Privé managers this summer said they were working to pay back Planet Hollywood for a $500,000 fine imposed on Planet Hollywood by the state Gaming Control Board over illegal activities at the clubs including prostitution, underage drinking and drug use. Clark County investigators also reported finding lewd and topless behavior at the clubs.

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