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A resort in Lake Geneva has unique tie to Playboy history

The Grand Geneva Resort & Spa has a unique tie to the history and legacy of Hugh Hefner.

The man who started the Playboy magazine and turned it into a multi-million dollar empire died Wednesday at the age of 91.

In 1968, Hugh Hefner had a vision of bringing glamour to the small lakeside community of Lake Geneva. 

"Hugh Hefner went out to create a lifestyle branded hotel and resort. He chose Lake Geneva for it's proximity to the Milwaukee and Chicago land market. He found two farms 1,300 acres and bought them both and built a resort on his property," said Steven Magnuson, Managing Director. 

He built the Lake Geneva Playboy Club Hotel and it stayed open from 1968 until 1982. 

Playboy bunnies walked through the hotel and even skied on the slopes. The Grand Geneva Resort & Spa has a display near the lobby that features key symbols of the Playboy brand. 

"What we have done is try to create a little part that people can remember about the playboy club but we tried was to take what they had and make it better," said Magnuson. 

In the early 1990's, the Milwaukee-based Marcus Corporation bought the property and turned it into the Grand Geneva Resort & Spa. It went through a complete renovation with updates to the hotel's guest rooms, golf courses and property grounds. 

“It was a lifestyle resort branded for couples, what we did is we came in and embraced the couples but we went after the families and the meeting market," said Magnuson.

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