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Building Begins at Grand Geneva
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Grand Geneva

A Grand History

50 years of memories in the making. The resort opened in 1968 as the Lake Geneva Playboy Club Hotel, the lush property served as a luxurious escape for Midwest travelers. The first Playboy Club Hotel to open in the United States, the resort brought a touch of glamour to the small lakeside community. At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Lake Geneva government officials and local dignitaries joined Hugh Hefner in celebrating the resort’s grand opening.

The Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired hotel featured opulent design elements including an indoor swimming pool complete with a connecting passage to the outdoor pool area, two championship golf courses, and a ski lounge designed in the shape of two interlocking snowflakes. Travelers from Chicago were able to fly directly to the resort, via the private airstrip that offered commuter service from the city’s O’Hare airport. Upon arrival, guests were transported around the resort on the hotel’s “Bunny Tram.”

With the property’s grand opening on May 6, 1968, the quiet lakeside community gained a few new residents – a bevy of lovely Playboy Bunnies, outfitted with the signature corsets, puffy tails and bunny ears. In addition, the hotel and its cabaret stage attracted some of the era’s most famous acts including Bob Hope and Sonny and Cher.

Bunnies begin building
Airport

After a stint as the Americana Hotel from 1982 to 1993, the Milwaukee-based Marcus Corporation purchased the property, reviving it as the Grand Geneva Resort & Spa, a year-round vacation destination. The property underwent a complete renovation, with updates to the hotel’s 355 guest rooms, golf courses, and property grounds. Other new additions since include the introduction of an outdoor fireplace lounge -Embers Terrace, a day spa – the WELL Spa + Salon, Timber Ridge Lodge & Waterpark - all-suite family friendly lodging and 29 new villas ranging from studio to three bedrooms.

Today the resort boasts 609 total rooms. 355 guestrooms and suites at the Main Lodge, 29 Villas and 225 suites at Timber Ridge Lodge & Waterpark. Winter, spring, summer and fall, Grand Geneva is a year-round destination for groups, couples and families. Many memories have been made at the resort over the last 50 years, and we can't wait to create even more over the next 50 years for all those who enter Grand Geneva Way.