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Two Playmates for the price of one

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Karissa and Kristina Shannon.
Shannon Fan Club

While negative impacts of the recession abound, it’s not all bad news. Case in point: This month Playboy produced its first double issue and, in the process, has delivered two Playmates for the price of one.

Even better: The picture-perfect twin sisters gracing the July-August cover will be in Las Vegas today and are eager to meet and mingle with fans.

The centerfolds, Karissa and Kristina Shannon, will be signing autographs at the Playboy store at the Forum Shops at Caesars this from 2-4 p.m.

Later tonight, the Playmates will go public again, this time at Playboy Comedy at the Palms’ 10:30 p.m. show.

The Shannon twins. One of them is Karissa, and the other is Kristina.

The Shannon twins. One of them is Karissa, and the other is Kristina.

The 19-year-olds will join their sugar daddy/boyfriend, Hugh Hefner, tomorrow when he and girlfriend No. 3, Crystal Harris, come to town to see former Hefner arm candy and Girls Next Door co-star, Holly Madison, star in Peepshow.

Unsurprisingly, they’re bringing the Girls Next Door camera crew with them.

Before the show and reality show shoot at Planet Hollywood, however, the twins will put in another in-store appearance, this time at the Playboy store at the Palms at 1 p.m.

After checking out Madison and her considerable assets onstage, girlfriend past and present will reconvene at a private dinner with Hef in his swanky signature Playboy sky villa at the Palms.

The adult magazine mogul doesn’t expect any trouble or animosity when his loves past and present collide.

In fact, he said Madison played matchmaker as she was preparing to leave the Playboy Mansion, and it was her handiwork that sparked his relationship with the Shannon sisters.

“It was Holly that first said to me, ‘You know who would really like to be your girlfriends, is the twins’,” he said, “And I said, ‘You’re kidding’!”

“That’s where I got the first clue that the twins were really interested in hooking up,” he said.

Hefner said Madison first met the identical twins while she was working as an assistant photo editor at Playboy.

“She was overseeing the test shoots that we were doing for the five Playmates, six if you count the twins as two, for our 55th anniversary issue,” Hefner recalled. “The twins were one of the five contestants who were competing that were competing for the 55th anniversary and Holly was overseeing that.”

“The truth of the matter is Holly actually knew the twins beforehand, in other words, before she left,” he said.

After having dinner with their matchmaker, the Shannons will hit the publicity trail once again, and will return to the Palms’ Key West ballroom for the second time of the evening. (They’re scheduled to host Playboy Comedy’s 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. shows on Saturday.)

Vegas is still relatively new to the 19-year-old sisters. Prior to Hefner’s 83rd birthday party in May, neither of the girls had visited the city.

They returned to town a month later, when Hefner announced the 2009 Playmate of the Year.

Crystal Harris, Hugh Hefner and the Shannon twins -- Kristina and Karissa -- at N9NE Steakhouse in the Palms.

Crystal Harris, Hugh Hefner and the Shannon twins -- Kristina and Karissa -- at N9NE Steakhouse in the Palms.

Still, they had to lay relatively low during both visits: Since the Shannons are still just 19 years old, neither sister is old enough to take in Las Vegas’ legendary nightlife.

When Hefner went to Playboy Club, he had to leave them behind.

Despite living at the Playboy Mansion, the twins won’t be able to party at Hefner’s signature nightspot high atop the Palms fantasy tower for another two years.

Hefner said two-thirds of his blondetourage being underage doesn’t – and won’t – stop the foursome from having fun.

“We’re looking forward to the trip,” he said. “We always have a good time.”

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Melissa Arseniuk

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