Fire Island Hub

Gay NYC Hotelier Ian Reisner Again Apologizes for Ted Cruz Debacle, Cuts $20,000 Check for Fire Island Pines Group


With the firestorm still raging, real estate developer Ian Reisner has once again apologized for his decision to host a reception and dinner at his Manhattan penthouse (alongside business partner Mati Weiderpass) for virulently anti-LGBT senator and 2016 candidate Ted Cruz last month.

Reisner, who back in January paid $10.1 million for a commercial strip along the Fire Island Pines, has also pledged to redouble his support for LGBT causes and cut a $20,000 check for the Fire Island Pines Property Owners Association (FIPPOA) PAC. 

In the wake of the controversy, some in the Fire Island Pines community sought to distanced themselves from the two hoteliers. 

FIPPOA President Jay Pagano stated that he had recently met with Reisner and was given the following apology that was read at the group's spring meeting:

Reisner2"Dear Members of our Community, 

First I want to clear up that Mati Weiderpass has zero involvement or ownership in the Pines.    
Now let me state unequivocally that I made mistakes. While my initial intention was bi-partisan dialogue about National & Israeli security, I've come to learn that intentions and outcomes are different things. The outcomes of my actions are that I've deeply hurt our community - and I am truly sorry.   
In order to help build a stronger community I am taking the following steps: 

- I am renewing and redoubling my commitment as an ardent supporter of LGBT causes.   
- I will continue to invest my resources in the Pines, its cultural programs and activities that celebrate the diversity and acceptance of its community members, so that it always holds its rightful place in LGBT history.   

- To this end, today I made a donation to the 'FIPPOA-PAC' -- matching All funds raised in its last active year -- which supports politicians committed to the Pines and to LGBT issues. 

- More so, I will be donating profits from my Pines Investment this summer to the following organizations that I have supported in the past: The LGBT Community Center in NYC & The Jerusalem Open House, as well as to 'Equality Texas' which fights for LGBT rights on one of this countries more challenging fronts. 

- Further, I am in the process of hiring a Director of Community Affairs to serve as a liaison with various LGBT organizations and to guide me in better serving our community. 

- Lastly, I commit to meeting and consulting with community & organizational leaders, to hear their concerns and their ideas so that we can all work together for a better Pines and a stronger LGBT community. 

Please accept these preliminary steps as assurance of my commitment to getting this right and to becoming the community member you deserve." 
Pagano added:
The letter of apology was received with applause and approval.  I have since been informed that Omar Sharif Jr. from GLAAD was hired as Director of Community Affairs.  $20,000 was wired to the FIPPOA PAC account and Ian has clarified to me that he will be donating "all of his share" of the profits from the Pines investment.  Ian has again asked me to express his intention of getting it right.  
Sharif Jr. is a Golden Globe winning Egyptian-Canadian actor who came out back in 2012.
Update: Sharif Jr. left his position as National Spokesperson for GLAAD earlier this month. GLAAD is not working with Reisner in any capacity.

Overnight Inferno Destroys Multiple Buildings in Fire Island's Cherry Grove: PHOTOS, VIDEOS


A massive fire overnight burned a hotel, several homes, and the boardwalk in the central area of Fire Island's Cherry Grove, a summer destination for New York's gay and lesbian community.

News12 reported:

Officials say the first started just before 1:30 a.m. and two firefighters have been hurt. There is no word on the extent of their injuries. A total of 77 firefighters and 12 ambulance personnel took part in the effort to contain the blaze. News 12 Long Island has learned the Grove Hotel was destroyed along with two to three homes. Fire officials say there are some hot spots, but the fire is now considered under control. Officials are asking residents to not come until tomorrow to the area for their safety.


watch News12's video here.




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'Out NYC' Hotel Owner Ian Reisner Pays $10.1 Million for Fire Island Pines Gay Resort

The winning bidder on the Fire Island Pines commercial district which went up for auction yesterday is Ian Reisner, a real estate developer and the owner of the Out NYC hotel. Reisner's bid was $10.1 million, the NYT reports:

ReisnerIn a telephone interview, Mr. Reisner said he, his business partner and a small team of investors planned to spend $4 million over the next 18 months to “renovate and rejuvenate” the property, which includes a hotel, a nightclub, a restaurant, a bar and retail space.

“My idea for the Out was to have a place for L.G.B.T., because we didn’t have that at the time,” said Mr. Reisner, who said he has been visiting Fire Island Pines since he came out as gay in 1989. “The Pines is the Out.”

Mr. Reisner bought the property in a partnership with P.J. McAteer, who manages the Sip-N-Twirl, a nightclub in the Fire Island Pines commercial district.

Full story here.

According to the paper, an opening bid failed to meet the $12 million reserve, and Reisner negotiated the terms privately.

The Fire Island Pines Property Owners Association (FIPPOA) appears to be thrilled with the new owner, writing, on Facebook:

FIPPOA is delighted with the news of the sale of the commercial properties in the Pines and congratulates Ian Reisner and P.J. McAteer for pulling off the purchase. The new owners led by Ian and PJ are long time Pines residents and either Pines or NYC businessmen. This bodes well for the success of the new venture. This is a WIN WIN for the Pines!

Fire Island Pines Gay Resort Hits Auction Block Today; Bids Start at $8.5 Million


The historic and iconic commercial district of New York's longtime gay resort Fire Island Pines, which includes the Pavilion nightclub, several restaurants, a hotel and retail spaces, goes up for auction today in Islip with a suggested starting bid of $8.5 million, less than half of the nearly $20 million it sold for to Andrew Kirtzman, Seth Weissman and Matthew Blesso in 2010.

See the auction page here.

The NYT reports:

Several familiar parties are said to be vying for the property, including the former owner. The sale may be a letdown for Mr. Kirtzman and his partners, but the Pines itself has remained popular even as homosexuality has found acceptance in places like wedding chapels and prime time television, and on beaches from Montauk to Cape May.

“It’s a beautiful, glamorous place, a place that was central to gay liberation,” said Jay Pagano, president of the Fire Island Pines Property Owners Association. “That’s still very important to the people who lived the struggle, and to the people who benefited from it.”

Among those who have expressed interest in the auction, according to the NYT, is the manager of the adjacent Sip-N-Twirl nightclub, OUTNYC Hotel owner Ian Reisner, and Eric von Kuersteiner, a Manhattan entrepreneur who owned the property from 2003 to 2010.

Stay tuned for news on the outcome of today's auction...

Fire Island Gays Twerk It Out To 'Anaconda' and 'Break Free' - VIDEO


A group of gay Jewish boys got together this summer to twerk their hearts (and other body parts) out to a mash up of two of the season's hit songs, Nicki Minaj's "Anaconda" and Ariana Grande's "Break Free", possibly proclaiming themselves successors to the 'Party in the Fire Island Pines' gays.

Watch as the boys get physical, AFTER THE JUMP...


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'Meat Rack' Between Gay Communities of Fire Island Pines and Cherry Grove Scorched by Brush Fire


A large brush fire erupted for two hours on Thursday in an area between the gay Fire Island communities over Cherry Grove and The Pines in an area technically known as the Carrington Tract but known by locals as the "meat rack" because of its history as a cruising area.

Fireboats and 17 fire departments from Long Island, which are required to transit the Great South Bay with equipment because of the lack of roads and proper vehicles in these communities, fought the blaze, Newsday reports:

The wildfire was confined to an undeveloped area and was reported just after 5:40 p.m. and put out just after 7:30 p.m., said a Suffolk County official from the Department of Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services.

Contingents of firefighters from the mainland were ferried in, along with their shovels and brooms, the official said. Those tools were used to rake over the brush in search of embers and to dump soil over any hot spots, authorities said.

In November 2011, fire destroyed the Pines' iconic Pavilion nightclub and several other buildings. They have since been completely rebuilt.

Thursday's blaze was deemed suspicious.

Several residents posted photos to social media.

Watch Newsday's raw footage of the fire HERE.


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