Nightclub trouble is far from over

First Pure, now Privé. Look for another domino to fall this weekend.

The once-raging nightclub industry in Las Vegas is getting the equivalent of a cold shower.

The Internal Revenue Service sent the first message with its raid 17 months ago of local nightclub kingpin Pure Management Group.

The crackdown continued Thursday when Planet Hollywood Resort paid a $500,000 fine to the Nevada Gaming Commission and the Clark County Business License Department denied its nightclub, Privé, a liquor license.

Privé, which opened in late 2007 in the former Curve space, must close by Tuesday. Its ultralounge, the Living Room, also owned by The Opium Group of Miami Beach, must cease operations by midnight July 30.

There have been rumblings this week that Wolfgang Puck’s Chinois could be closing as soon as this weekend, which would force its second-floor tenant, Poetry nightclub, to shut down.

Meanwhile, rumors continue to fly that a blowup between Steve Wynn and Victor Drai, who has been operating Wynn’s clubs Tryst and XS, could result in Drai’s exit as a managing partner this year.

Drai also has restaurant deals with Wynn that might involve buyouts.

The raid at Pure involved allegations of unreported income. The IRS has not announced results of the investigation.

According to the Business License Department, Privé and its lounge failed to uphold county code requirements.

They were cited for violations ranging from allowing topless and lewd activity to take place to stalling or interfering with agents conducting inspections at the venues.


Las Vegas Country Club resident Fred Peters missed the party 40 years ago, but not this time.

He’s in Houston today for the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 splashdown.

The longtime Las Vegan was a project engineer for the Apollo space program and later the Skylab and space shuttle eras.

Peters, who was living in New York City at the time of the splashdown, was among an elite group invited back to Houston for the anniversary party.

As one proud spectator at the New York ticker tape parade after Apollo 11’s success, he recalls being knee deep in the stuff.

“What was even more impressive was the night we landed on the moon,” he said.

The city had set up a huge TV screen in Central Park, and it was a rainy night. “In spite of the rain, all those blasé New Yorkers filled up the park.”


Starting today, the Palms pool deck will be covered for Kandy Vegas, a three-day, ladies-in-lingerie extravaganza with top DJs, a Snoop Dogg concert Saturday and a Miss Sunset Tan swimsuit pageant Saturday and Sunday. Men are to wear all white. It’s being filmed for Season 3 of the “Sunset Tan” reality show. … Melissa Rycroft of ABC’s “The Bachelor” and “Dancing with the Stars” hosts Saturday at Azure, the pool venue at Palazzo. She makes her appearance on the blue carpet about 1:15 p.m. … NFL Hall of Famer Dick Butkus is at Field of Dreams at the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace, for autographs and photos, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. today and noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday.


Mel Gibson, taking in Blue Man Group (Venetian) on Wednesday and Pole Position Raceway on Thursday. … Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, with a large party at “O” (Bellagio) on Wednesday. … At N9NE Steakhouse (Palms) on Wednesday: Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart and Utah Jazz standout Deron Williams, in separate parties.


“Sports reporter Erin Andrews was secretly videotaped undressing in her hotel room. The video was posted online. I think I speak for everyone when I say, ‘Thank God this didn’t happen to John Madden.’ ” — Jimmy Fallon

Norm Clarke can be reached at (702) 383-0244 or Find additional sightings and more online at

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