Friday, April 9, 2004 | 10:35 a.m.
George Maloof says it is still too early to release much detail about his long-awaited expansion plan for his Palms hotel-casino in Las Vegas, but on Thursday announced that a recording studio would be built as part of the hotel expansion project.
Maloof declined to lay out a timetable for his unnamed new expansion, which is expected to have a unique sexy theme and include at least a couple of hundred hotel rooms, mostly or all suites.
The unnamed studio, which would be a venture of Maloof Music, a partnership between Maloof family members and Interscope Records, one of the recording industry's top players, would be the first recording studio incorporated into a casino resort and will be a big contributor to the Palms, he said.
Not only will the studio be an amenity that will attract musicians and other high-profile celebrities to the Palms, but it will also provide a small venue for impromptu, intimate concerts, he said.
"The studio will complete the package for us," Maloof said, mentioning the already strong business at the Palms' Rain nightclub, its Ghostbar lounge and its Skin poolside lounge. "This is the final piece of the puzzle."
The 8,000-square-foot studio will have state-of-the-art equipment, Maloof said, including remote units that will let artists work on recordings from their suites.
Maloof said his youngest brother, Phil Maloof, heads up the family's Maloof Music venture, but that he himself conceptualized the studio.
"I've been working on this for a year-and-a-half," Maloof said. "I'm a music freak. This will be a big attraction for the property."
The studio is expected to appeal to musicians because of its connection to a hotel-casino, he noted.
Because the hotel has 24-hour room service, a range of restaurants and a fleet of limos, the Palms can provide more amenities to recording artists than any studio anywhere, Maloof said.
Maloof expects famed rock producer Jimmy Iovine, who worked for Bruce Springsteen, U2 and Tom Petty and who founded Interscope Records in 1989, to play a role in the design of the studio.
Huntington Press Publisher Anthony Curtis, a casino-industry expert, said Maloof's studio plan is brilliant.
"It's so perfect," Curtis said. "It's an unbelievable idea -- pure Maloof and pure Palms. It centers on the property's strength, entertainment. It further diversifies the property, and it more clearly sets an identity for the Palms -- young, hip, cool. And it can make money for George in multiple ways. He can use it for parties, to bill out to outside groups, for private functions and for small concerts."
The Greenspun family, owner of the Las Vegas Sun, is a minority investor in the Palms.