party in the fip

TELL QUEERTY: How Can the Fire Island Pines’ New Owners Make the Place More Awesome?

By now you’ve heard Andrew Kirtzman (“journalist turned hotelier”), Matt Blesso (“one of the top 100 bachelors in New York”), and Seth Weissman (“26”) are taking over Fire Island Pines. At least the part that Eric von Kuersteiner and his (business-and-life) partner Tony Roncalli own, which is a lot. The deal, expected to close this week, has the trio sinking in $2 million of their own cash, $10 million from lenders actually willing to extend someone credit on a real estate deal, and $9 million from private equity types. The goal: Revamp, renovate, and resuscitate revenues. But how can the new owners make this place better? C’mon, let’s crowd-source the bitch out of this one.

We want to hear from Fire Island Pines veterans and newbies alike on how Kirtzman, Blesso, and Weissman (d/b/a/ FIP Ventures LLC)can make the place a better summer getaway. Does La Ciel’s hotel lobby need upgrading? (Does La Ciel’s hotel name need changing?) Should there be an Equinox or a David Barton put in? A guy standing at the ferry dock refusing to let in the uglies?

These guys are spending some $21 million to buy the place, and it’s only fair that we let you weigh in.

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  • Alejandro

    For my taste, adding things like an Equinox (or that high end grocery store by Pavilion) are anathema to the spirit of a beach resort. Who wants more Manhattan when you’re trying to get away from it all? I also think Pavilion is a terrible space and it seems to suck the fun out of everything. The DJ’s across the board (save for Lina) lack creativity and taste and play terrible crap.

    However, I think FIP will reflect the tastes of whoever can afford to summer there. It seems to be solidly upper middle class, white, corporate and male. It’s gorgeous out on Fire Island, but I think the funkier, sillier, and less pretentious Grove may be my destination of choice in the future. For one, their underwear party is actually fun.

  • john

    Fire Island Pines is one of the least friendliest gay resorts in the country. No wonder most people opt for the Grove, P-town, or Rohoboth. The Pines is SOOOOOO last century.

  • Frank

    Truth in advertising. They should just literally set the island on fire. That’d be pretty awesome.

  • hardmannyc

    About the Pavilion: Mr. Kirtzman, tear down that wall! The new Pavilion has been a mega-disaster from Day One. User unfriendly, horrible acoustics, cold and unfeeling as a meat locker. Bring back DJs and the music Pines people love. Make it friendly and warm. Get rid of that food market. The Pines doesn’t need two major grocery stores.

    All in all, everyone is encouraged, because Andrew Kirtzman is a nice guy and popular, unlike the previous owner.

    The Pines is as friendly or as unfriendly as you make it. I love the Grove, but the Pines is physically more beautiful, so it’s where I prefer to summer. I’ve been going there for years and have never found most people to be snobs. (Some people, for sure, but I live in Manhattan, so whatever.)

  • terrwill

    Frank: Been plenty of flamers out there ova the years….. : p

  • EdWoody

    Less drugs and barebacking would be nice. But then what would the gays do with their time? (rolleyes)

  • TommyOC

    I’m thinking if they pulled their heads out of their asses and stopped thinking the world revolved around the East Coast, that would be an awesome start.

    There are plenty of other getaways not situated around New York that are friendly, nicer, and quite nice to visit all year round.

    Give Fire Island Pines and its investors the attention it deserves – none.

  • Alejandro


    If I’m not mistaken, most visitors to Fire Island live close by. I think part of the allure (at least for me) is its convenience from NYC.

    I’m sure there are other places to visit, but they involve getting on an airplane.

  • David Kniazuk

    Anything further signaling the end of the Von Kuersteiner Era is good news to me. Andrew Kirtzman gets my full vote of confidence.

  • MissLaWanda

    Bring a Walmart and a Sally´s Beauty Supply.

  • Danny

    1. Get rid of the expensive grocery store and add more out door bar space.

    2. Light the main walkways. It can be so dangerous at night, and especially drunk.

    3. Have cabanas on the beach where people can rent chairs and umbrellas.

    4. A bar/snack cart on the beach, that would be awesome!

    5. A clean non sexual spa. No funny business.

    6. Movie nights!

  • Doug Shingleton

    They need to holistically rebuild the acceptance of the visitors coming to the community and make it more day friendly, they also need ot foster short term rentals at cheaper rates to youth to get a prettier clientele up in there. Provide something other than old patron to the community hunting for young doe eyed kid to “mentor” in an inappropriate way.

    Design a gym that looks like something, staff it well, and create something destination wise that makes people not feel so snobbish to go out there, and make it have value for the consumer. gay straight or otherwise.

    Just in general, be about something other than raping the community for the profit. We all know you have to make a profit, just be subtle about it, while providing value to the consumer.

  • ewe

    I prefer Wilton Manors. I did the what the twenty something gay guys are doing in the eighties and not only look at them as silly, young and shallow but am reminded how fortunate i am to be older now. To have actually made it here is a gift. But every young gay person is entitled to their own self adulation for a spell. The real pity is that gay people are not taking in most of the profits from each other. Instead we pay rents and spend our dollars right into the pockets of greedy heterosexual capitalists who are open minded as long as they are raking in the cash. It’s the truth!!!!!!!!!!!!

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