Owner of new Las Vegas strip club finds inspiration from ‘South Park’

The interior of Peppermint Hippo, a new strip club in Las Vegas. (Courtesy Peppermint Hippo)

In the animated comedy show “South Park,” the starring crew of kids visits a strip club on more than one occasion.

After the youngsters take down a meth lab, for instance, a police lieutenant tells them it had a paper trail leading to the “biggest crime syndicate in Colorado,” whose operators were apparently based out of a “sleazy strip joint.”

The fictional club was called Peppermint Hippo — and now, an actual chain of strip clubs with that name has expanded to Las Vegas.

Peppermint Hippo announced in April that it opened in Las Vegas, a casino-packed tourist town long known as a rowdy spot where adults can cut loose and which features big strip clubs near the famed resort corridor, including one called Spearmint Rhino.

Located on Las Vegas Boulevard at Wyoming Avenue, near Luv-it Frozen Custard, Peppermint Hippo occupies the former home of strip joint Olympic Garden.

It spans 27,000 square feet and boasts “state-of-the-art sound and lighting, VIP amenities, a podcast studio, speakeasy, and 24-hour entertainment,” a news release said.

Its main room has 40 stage-side seats, 20 tables and seven bottle booths. The Hippo Room features “five bottle booths close to the stage so VIP guests can easily make it rain, creating the ultimate party vibe,” the release said.

The club also has a stainless-steel hippopotamus named Pepper that weighs 888 pounds.

Founder Alan Chang, whose other Peppermint Hippo locations include Reno; Little Rock, Arkansas; and Akron, Ohio; said it cost more than $5 million to build out the Las Vegas club.

He described it as a hybrid nightclub and strip club, noting he went “real heavy” on sound and lighting.

Chang, who worked at Spearmint Rhino for several years, including as director of business development, said he named his business after the fictional one in “South Park.”

The club was in a “South Park” episode in 2003 and in another in 2006, when Chang was working for Spearmint Rhino.

“We just thought it was hilarious,” Chang said, adding he figured if he ever opened a club of his own, “that’s what I’ll call it.”

He opened his first Peppermint Hippo club in 2019.

This being Las Vegas, Chang has no shortage of adult-entertainment competition here.

Spearmint Rhino, for instance, announced in 2016 that it was adding 17,000 square feet to the club. Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club spans about 70,000 square feet, and Crazy Horse 3, which spans more than 40,000 square feet, announced in January that it was accepting Bitcoin for lap dances.

Contact Eli Segall at esegall@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0342. Follow @eli_segall on Twitter.

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