Playboy Club workers to reunite in Lake Geneva
SEEKING PLAYBOY CLUB EMPLOYEES
Organizers of a reunion for employees of the former Playboy Club in Lake Geneva are looking for contact information for anyone who worked at the club from 1968 to 1982.
Former employees who have not received an invitation or who know someone who has not received an invitation should call Dan Markus at (920) 621-6316 or e-mail email@example.com.
LAKE GENEVA Playboy bunnies were the epitome of glamour in their heyday.
But the cotton-tailed cocktail waitresses at the swanky nightclubs also were the embodiment of hard work.
Sandra Farwell, a bunny at the former Playboy Club in Lake Geneva, remembers strutting around the resort in her costume—the trademark satin “bunny suit,” fluffy cottontail, sassy bunny ears and three-inch heels—and frolicking among keyholders and big-name entertainers.
“There was this mystique about (being a bunny),” the Lake Geneva woman said. “But we were just average girls trying to make some extra money. We had a lot of fun, but we did not have an easy job.”
Farwell is among some 200 former Playboy Club employees expected to return to Lake Geneva for a reunion Saturday, July 10. The event will take place at the Grand Geneva Resort, the site of the old club and resort.
The event is the first formal reunion for employees of the Playboy Club in Lake Geneva and is being billed as a night of dinner, dancing and reminiscing.
Playboy in the 1960s and 1970s was the mark of sexy sophistication, and Playboy Club membership back then was a status symbol. People flocked to Lake Geneva from 1968 to 1982 to stay at the hotel, to see the best in entertainment, to dine at the fine restaurants—and to be a part of all that was Playboy.
Dan Markus, first a busboy and then a maitre d’ at the club, recalls striving to provide the best and most unique experience for keyholders and others who visited the club.
“We were very much a part of the whole Playboy scene,” the Green Bay man said. “We were a very visible and tangible part of that for people. People could buy the magazine and see it that way. But when they went to the club, they were in the middle of the empire and we were the people they saw.
“There was an expectation and anticipation,” he added. “It was glamorous, sophisticated, cutting edge, and people expected that at the club. It was up to us to deliver that. We knew we had pretty special jobs.”
Jerry Pawlak, also a maitre d’ at the club, remembers the one-of-a-kind experience of working for Hugh Hefner and his successful franchise.
“I could not wait to go to work,” the Fontana man said. “It was everything—the shows, the people, the dress. It was a completely different era. It was a big deal just to be there. You don’t find this kind of thing anymore.”
Farwell, who now is the concierge at the Grand Geneva Resort, says the club’s employees—especially the bunnies—spent so much time together that they were like family.
“We had to get to work an hour early just to get ready,” she said. “We had to put on our suits, put on our makeup, put on our wigs. That time was girl time. There was so much camaraderie among the girls. There really was the feeling of sisterhood there.”
Markus, who is helping organize the reunion, said former club employees are gearing up for the get-together.
“I’m excited to be back with people I considered my friends,” he said. “I don’t think we even appreciated at the time how close to a family we were. But I think looking back on it now, it’s easy to see we were.”