When hearing the name Hugh Hefner, and even more so when confronted with an image of the famed playboy bunny, one may automatically think of risqué behavior and raunchy photographs. However, their most recent intention is to distance themselves from any naughty connotations and expand into a lifestyle brand.
Just as the company works to reinvent its image, the Sagamore hotel in South Beach is also in need of some help, as the venue may be faced with foreclosure after falling behind on mortgage payments. The two companies have reportedly begun talking about joining forces and opening the first playboy club outside of Las Vegas.
The hotel had begun losing money when its Social restaurant, a once popular spot in the hotel party scene with the help of celebrity chef Michelle Bernstein, closed. The Sagamore is now primarily known for its collection of art, which poses the main contention in striking a deal with Playboy. As a hotel meant for “those seeking a more enlightened stay on South Beach,” some worry that the reputation of Playboy might deter the more cultured customers. Playboy hopes that with the rising number of casinos, restaurants, clubs, and its reality show, The Girls Next Door, they may be able to meet the needs of a new audience. Talk of Hefner contributing some works of art doesn’t hurt, either.
The playboy venture has a new goal now, to become a lifestyle of sorts. No longer just a male brand, they want to represent sex appeal. Should the company follow through on the deal and open a club at the Sagamore, both sides hope to be presented in new light. The high cultural image of the Sagamore with the more refined sex appeal that Playboy is creating should meet in the middle to create an entirely new and exciting experience that we can only imagine, as the deal awaits to be approved.