Mind Your Manor
Since The Girls Next Door is the first reality show to bring you inside the Playboy Mansion, we thought we'd fill you in on some of the place's more unique qualities and facts, courtesy of series creator and exec producer Kevin Burns. Read on for a taste of life at one of the most intriguing residences in the world.
It's Stuffed with Staff:
The Playboy Mansion West is a 24/7 operation. It's a private home, sure, but it's run like a resort hotel. And it takes plenty of people to do that. The 70-person staff includes chefs, butlers, groundskeepers, maintenance, security and zookeepers.
Zookeepers? Yup. Hef's had a love of animals since he was a child. So when he bought the Playboy Mansion West, he wanted to take advantage of its open grounds. It is one of the few private residences that has a zoo permit. Apparently, sexy bunnies are indigenous to the area, but among the other real animals, the licensed gamekeepers and zookeepers take care monkeys, rabbits, pheasants, flamingos, parrots, exotic birds, lots of dogs and one cat named Gizmo.
Serious Real Estate:
When Hef bought the Playboy Mansion West, it fetched a then-record $1 million. Because of current insane real estate prices—and its legendary status—he could now get anywhere from $40 to $50 million for the five acres of Holmby Hills land that he calls home.
East vs. West:
What's the Playboy Mansion West? Within the world of Playboy, the Mansion is often referred to as "Playboy Mansion West" because during the 1970s, the company also owned the original Playboy Mansion in Chicago. Hef frequently flew back and forth between the two residences in the "Big Bunny" DC-9 jet. The Chicago Mansion was sold to the Chicago Art Institute in the 1980s and was then used as a dormitory—Hefner Hall—until it was resold and converted into luxury condominiums. The Playboy Mansion West is now his official residence.
The Girl Next Door:
The Playboy Mansion (aka the Playboy Mansion West) had a "sister" house built next door which was there before Hef bought it. While smaller and with some different details, its layout is a mirror image of the Mansion. Hef purchased the neighboring house in 1996. His wife Kimberly (the couple separated in 1998) and their two children live there.
Get a Piece of the Rock:
When you pull up to the grounds of the Mansion, you ask the rock for permission to get inside—there's a security camera and mike inside it. Once you're in, you're treated like family (some never leave), but some people do try to sneak in. That bit from Entourage when Kevin Dillon's character attempted to get into the Mansion by hiding in a car trunk? That's happened. The guy was nabbed.