Friday, April 24, 2009 | 7:32 a.m.
Hugh Hefner is coming to Vegas next weekend to make history.
The Playboy magnate will mark half a century of Playmates of the Year on May 2 at Palm Place.
While the Palms has long been synonymous with Playboy in Las Vegas, it will be the first time the Playmate of the Year will be crowned at the resort.
African-born brunette beauty Ida Ljungqvist is rumored to be destined for the title. The 27-year-old appeared on the cover of the March 2008 issue of the iconic magazine.
The official announcement will be made during a private dinnertime party at Simon restaurant next Saturday.
In addition to the title, the 2009 Playmate of the Year will receive $100,000 and a new Mazda6 car.
Former Playmate of the Year, Miss 2001, Brande Roderick, will host the event. Many other former Playmates of the Year are also expected to attend.
Recent Playmates of the Year include Jayde Nicole (2008), Sara Jean Underwood (2007), who is also credited with discovering Ljungqvist, and Kara Monaco (2006).
Hefner recently celebrated his 83rd birthday at the Palms. He and a group of associates founded the now-legendary pin-up magazine that made him famous 56 years ago, in 1953.
Editor's note: The original version of this story stated the incorrect date for this event. It has been changed to reflect the actual date, May 2.
Palms Casino Resort has come a long way since its "Real World" debut in 2002. The boutique property features three distinct towers and a diverse mix of bars and restaurants across a 95,000-square-foot casino.
Palms, which features more than 1,200 rooms and fantasy suites, is currently undergoing a multi-million dollar transformation that will encompass an Ivory Tower room and suite redesign, new culinary additions, re-imagined gaming spaces and new, distinctive nightlife experiences.
In addition to newly designed rooms, during the first phase of the renovation, Palms will welcome Heraea, a high-energy American restaurant and lounge, and XISHI, a pan-Asian restaurant and lounge.
Fantasy Suites include the Hardwood Suite, the only hotel room in the world with its own basketball court.
Other amenities include the all-new Cantor Gaming® race and sports book, one of the few sports books in Las Vegas to include a poker room; SOCIAL; Scarlet; Chocolat Bistro; tonic bar; ghostbar; Pearl Concert Theater; Moon Nightclub; N9NE Steakhouse; Nove Italiano; Simon Restaurant & Lounge; Palms Pool & Bungalows; Kim Vō Salon; Drift Spa & Hammam; Brenden Theatres, a 14-theatre cineplex and more than 60,000 square-feet of meeting space.