Can the Playboy Bunnies keep the Sagamore out of foreclosure?
That's the question hanging over one of South Beach's most fashionable hotels as it pursues a licensing deal to open the only Playboy Club outside of Las Vegas.
Plans call for waitresses dressed in the famously skimpy bunny uniforms to serve drinks in the Sagamore's cocktail lounge and on the beach behind the 93-room hotel. Guests willing to pay top dollar could sleep in a redesigned Hugh Hefner suite.
But the administrator of the Sagamore's tardy $32 million mortgage hasn't endorsed the deal between the racy brand and a hotel best known for its prized collection of contemporary art, owner Marty Taplin said.
He sees the Playboy venture as the key to returning profits to the Sagamore, which missed its last three mortgage payments thanks to a brutal travel market and the loss of a high-profile restaurant operator two years ago.
"It's an icon," Taplin said of the Playboy bunny logo. "I thought it was a great opportunity."
Should Playboy check into the Sagamore, the venture would test both brands.
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