A New Las Vegas Strip Hotel By Maxim Magazine

A Lad Mag and a Brand in Las Vegas

Maxim MagazineA Maxim named Las Vegas Strip Hotel and Casino coming soon to Vegas. The raucous men’s magazine, has never been shy about putting its name out there.

Maxim’s parent company, Dennis Publishing, is expected to announce that it has signed a deal with a real estate developer, Concord Wilshire Partners, to build the Las Vegas Maxim Hotel and Casino, a $1.2 billion destination hotel with 2,300 rooms and a 60,000-square-foot casino that is to open in 2010.

All the accouterments of any self-respecting new hotel on the Strip will be on hand: a luxury spa, high-end retailers, celebrity chefs, lots of conference space. Then, the connections with Dennis Publishing will be added. Maxim Lounge, a collaboration with the nightlife impresarios Rande and Scott Gerber, will have a club in the hotel. And the company’s music magazine, Blender, will get top billing on the outdoor and indoor concert spaces.

Stephen Colvin, president and chief executive of Dennis Publishing U.S., said, “Vegas has always been — and is increasingly becoming more so — a natural home for an entertainment brand targeted at a young audience.”

Maxim’s mixture of scantily clad B-list starlets, college-fraternity humor and useful information on gadgets, clothes and other preoccupations of young, affluent men has proved to be a publishing sensation since its British-based owner brought the magazine here in 1997. Its paid circulation has surpassed 2.5 million, dwarfing traditional men’s publications like GQ and Esquire, and its formula has spawned a posse of competing “lad” magazines.

Over the last couple of years, the brand has been placed on a growing number of products — duvet bedding, home office and entertainment furniture, even hair-frosting dye — all seeking to embody the spirit of the fun-loving Maxim man.

But the hotel deal could prove to be the most lucrative. Concord Wilshire is paying Dennis an upfront fee in the middle seven figures, said Steve Sirang, the company’s chairman and chief executive. The publisher will also receive an annual minimum fee, at least in the mid-seven figures as well, plus a percentage on food, beverages and retail lease revenue. Dennis will not receive any cut of the revenue from the casino. As is typical in licensing deals, Dennis will also have creative control over every aspect of the project — whether the choice of architect, the décor of the rooms or the thread count of the bed linen. 

The new hotel and casino will have to jostle its way into the increasingly crowded den of upscale, sanitized iniquity that is Las Vegas. Its location, on the northern side of the Strip near Circus Circus, will place it far from the higher-end section of the Strip and its presumably closest competitors, the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and the Palms.

When it comes to brand extensions, magazine publishers have remained relatively cautious, as they face a built-in tension most other companies do not: the most logical extensions often put them into competition with their advertisers.

A Las Vegas connection would seem to avoid cheapening the Maxim brand. “Clearly a casino hotel license is a far better strategic fit for the brand and revenue opportunities than more trivial products like household goods bearing the Maxim brand,” Mr. Siegel said.

Concord Wilshire, which has about $7 billion in projects under development but is new to the hotel and casino business, plans to hire a management company with gambling experience to get a license from the Nevada Gaming Commission and to run the complex. It already owns the land, having acquired for some Las Vegas real estate valued at $74 million eight acres just north of the Stardust Resort and Casino, which will be demolished next spring.

Adam Steinberg, a gambling industry analyst for Morgan Joseph & Company, said the Maxim brand should be able to create some buzz, but the planned hotel and casino would still have to overcome competitive hurdles.

Mr. Colvin said he and his partners were not worried. “We feel that Vegas is only going to become more and more desirable,” he said.

Source: The New York Times

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A New Las Vegas Strip Hotel proposed by Maxim Magazine.

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