Maxim Hotel & Casino will open on the strip in 2010, and Wilshire no doubt is betting the Maxim brand still will prove a potent draw four years from now. That explains why Maxim decided to celebrate its 100th issue in April by constructing a 110-foot-by-75-foot replica of its cover featuring "Desperate Housewives'" Eva Longoria in the Las Vegas desert. Maxim billed it as the "World's Largest Men's Magazine" and directed users to Google Earth to prove the claim that it was the only magazine that could be seen from space.
Playboy, another of-the-moment men's mag, also tried the casinos-and-hotels route in the '60s and '70s, eventually opening a whole chain of Playboy clubs. But by the early '80s, most were closed, and now Playboy's casino ventures are mainly virtual, online at Playboycasino.com.
The risk of another licensing deal for Dennis, even a huge deal, actually seems relatively low. The company will collect an upfront payment in the middle seven figures from Wilshire, according to The New York Times, which this morning broke the news of the casino. Dennis then will receive a minimum yearly fee and get a cut of revenue from some operations. In addition to expanding the Maxim brand, Dennis will use the complex to showcase Blender, its 5-year-old music title, with branding on concert spaces.
All of that might sweeten the pot for anyone considering buying Dennis, which seems to be on the block even if the company won't confirm or deny such reports.
In the end, though, Watercooler is hard-pressed to imagine more simpatico brands than Maxim and Vegas. Indeed, there once was a casino and hotel on Flamingo Road in Las Vegas that carried the Maxim name, but it closed in 1999.